Co recalls father-son relationship with Dalupan
There are coaches and there’s Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan.
The man who is referred to as the greatest Philippine basketball coach of all time was also a father to his players.
Atoy Co, who played under Dalupan basically for his whole career, said he won’t forget the first time the legendary coach gave him an earful.
“There was a game and for a while si [Bernie Fabiosa] ayaw akong pasahan then nung pinasahan niya ako naiinis na ako, binalibag ko bola sa kanya, binalibag niya sa akin, binalibag ko na rin sa kanya, napansin yun kung bakit kami nagbabalibagan ng bola,” said Co on Sunday after final buzzer at Smart Araneta Coliseum was sounded as a tribute to Dalupan.
“Then later sa halftime, everybody will go to the dugout, dun first time akong namura. ‘Anong pinagagagawa niyong kalokohan?’ I will not forget that time kasi yun yung first time na namura niya ako.”
Co, a member of the PBA’s Greatest Players, played for Dalupan starting in college with Mapua then in the Manila Industrial and Commercial Athletic Association and eventually, in the PBA with Crispa.
A self-described “prodigal son,” Co said the Crispa Redmanizers he played for under Dalupan treated each other like family with each player going into each others’ life occasions.
“More of a father and son especially during the Crispa days talagang the Crispa team was ran as a family, if there’s an event everybody will be there,” said Co, who donned the Crispa uniform for 12 years.
“We just don’t see each other in the hardcourt or in the practices we see each other sa birthdays, in every occasion. Even to the children’s parties of the players. We will miss him.”
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