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Aric del Rosario-mentored Parañaque Patriots debut versus Caloocan Supremos in MPBL opening

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ARIC DEL ROSARIO has no plans of slowing down.

In fact, the 70-year-old coach is making a coaching comeback as head mentor of the Yakimix Parañaque Patriots, which will make its debut in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) today against the Caloocan Supremos.

Game time is 9 p.m. at the Smart Araneta Coliseum right after the opening ceremonies highlighted by parade of teams’ colors and their muses and live performance from talents of ABS-CBN, the official coveror of the fledgling league put up by Senator Manny Pacquiao.

Mr. Del Rosario was architect of University of Santo Tomas’ four-peat in the UAAP from 1993 to 1996, but he was also part of so many champion teams handling in different capacities.

In the PBA, he was a member of Tim Cone’s coaching staff that won the grand slam in 1996.

Two years later, Mr. Del Rosario moved to the Metropolitan Basketball Association where he guided the Pampanga Dragons to the championship.

He coached in the UAAP for a few more years then moved to Perpetual Help in the NCAA before taking time off from the one he loves doing the most.

But the itch in coaching is still there and Mr. Del Rosario agreed to be at the helm of the Patriots.

Among the key players seeing action for the Patriots are PBA draftees Juneric Baloria and Jett Vidal, ex-D League players Marlon Gomez and Mac Montilla, and Aric’s own son, Edsel del Rosario.

But the Caloocan Supremos are no pushovers, parading a lineup bannered by ex-PBA players Jopher Custodio and Allan Mangahas, former Sta. Lucia center Philip Butel and ex-Ginebra player Marlon Basco.

Format of this home and away tournament is single round robin with eight teams advancing to the quarterfinal round. — Rey Joble