Stand-in coach Richard Del Rosario is trying to lead Ginebra on his own after taking the mantle from head coach Tim Cone who is currently in the US for a NBA Summer League gig with the Miami Heat.
Del Rosario, Cone’s long-time lead assistant, opened his four-game duty with a commanding 105-89 victory over the Converge on Friday, July 1.
“Sabi lang niya sa akin, ‘Good luck’ and, ‘Coach it the way you would coach and not how you think I would do it.’ That means a lot,” said Del Rosario.
“I've learned a lot from coach Tim, again tama rin siya eh, I can’t pretend or try to be like him because I would just be a poor copy. The best way is to be myself dahil matagal ko na rin kasama ‘yung mga players, maganda ‘yung mga relationships namin kaya hindi ko na kailangang magpanggap sa kanila,” said Del Rosario.
The veteran coach, who had an entire week to prepare before taking over the coaching chores, also added that with the system already in place and players already having established roles in the team, the preparation boiled down to the team’s mentality heading into the game with their well-respected coach.
“It was really more of preparing the players mentally than physically. Sabi ko nga sa kanila, ako nag-player din ako dati, kapag wala ‘yung head coach, feeling mo, ‘Assistant coach lang ‘yan, puwede ko gawin ‘yung gusto ko.’ ‘Yung preparation ko is more on mental adjustment na wala kaming letdown,” he added.
Good thing, his wards responded well led by reigning MVP Scottie Thompson who had 24 points and six rebounds. Japeth Aguilar also showed up with 20 markers and 11 boards while Christian Standhardinger and Stanley Pringle had 13 and 11 points, respectively.
Admittedly dealing with the pressure on filling the huge shoes left by Cone, Del Rosario said he’s trying to keep his focus and enjoy the moment which according to him is one of his dreams.
“But I just have to remind myself, I’m living my dream. From a player na wala naman masyadong skill, ngayon, nagko-coach ako sa PBA and I’m coaching Ginebra pa. I won’t let pressure ruin that,” he furthered.
"I’m just going to enjoy the moment. I’m thankful dahil hindi lahat nabibigyan ng opportunity.”