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PH basketball community mourns Dalupan’s passing

/ 05:09 PM August 18, 2016
FILE---Baby Dalupan (first row, second from the left)  stands among stands among big names in Philippine Sports during the 2011 PSA Awards. Photo by Celest Colina/INQUIRER.net

FILE—Baby Dalupan (first row, second from the left) stands among stands among big names in Philippine Sports during the 2011 PSA Awards. Photo by Celest Colina/INQUIRER.net

As the news of legendary coach Baby Dalupan’s passing broke, tributes poured out from all Philippine basketball circles.

Ginebra coach Tim Cone got the news on Thursday morning and took it to Twitter to express his adulation for his idol.

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“I just now heard about Coach Baby’s passing. I’m so heartbroken. We lost a truly good man and the greatest coach. I will miss him terribly,” he said.

Cone  had no qualms about proclaiming Dalupan as the “greatest of all time,” even attaching the #GOAT in his series of tweets to honor the late tactician.

“What I will remember about Coach Baby is how far ahead of his time he was, and what a wonderful father he was to his daughters,” he said. “All of us in the PBA need to honor Coach Baby. We need to acknowledge how he impacted us all, how he was the father of all us coaches. #GOAT”

Cone overtook Dalupan in the PBA history books as the winningest coach in league, surpassing the record of 15 titles set by Dalupan which stood for over two decades.

Former national team coach Chot Reyes also gave a toast for Dalupan: “Just got word that my inspiration, mentor, friend – The Maestro, Coach Baby Dalupan passed last night. What a sad day for Phil basketball”

PBA commissioner Chito Narvasa also penned a statement honoring one of the league’s winningest mentors.

“All throughout his career, he conducted himself with integrity, dignity, class, decency and respect for others. Yet in spite of all his achievements and recognitions, the man remained incredibly humble. He raised the prestige of a basketball coach so high that he inspired many others to follow in his footsteps,” Narvasa said in a statement.

Narvasa also expressed condolences in behalf of the PBA: “To Tita Nenang and family of Coach Baby, on behalf of the PBA community, please accept our sincerest sympathies on his passing. He will forever be engraved in our hearts as the Father of Philippine basketball coaches.”

Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) also condoled with the Dalupan family.

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“We in SBP deeply mourn the passing of Coach Baby Dalupan,” the association said in a statement.

“For his coaching wizardry, the sports media aptly gave him the moniker, ‘The Maestro.’ We will miss Coach Baby, but will fondly keep him in our hearts and minds, always remembering his immeasurable contribution to Philippine basketball.”

Dalupan gained fame coaching UE and Ateneo in the collegiate leagues, before moving on to Crispa in MICAA and the PBA, and later on, Presto and Purefoods./rga

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