- Legendary basketball coach Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan passed away on Wednesday, August 17
- “The Maestro” died at his home in Quezon City
- He was 92 years old
MANILA, Philippines – Legendary basketball coach and mentor Virgilio “Baby” Dalupan has passed away on Wednesday night, August 17. He was 92 years old.
Dalupan, one of the winningest coach in Philippine collegiate and professional basketball who ruled the sport back in the 1970s and late 1980s, reportedly died at his home in Quezon City.
“Baby”, as he is fondly called, started his basketball career as coach of University of the East (UE) Warriors in 1955. He stayed with the team until 1972 and gave the UE Warriors a total of 12 UAAP championships and 6 intercollegiate crowns.
The Ateneo De Manila alumnus transferred to his alma mater in 1972 and brought the collegiate team to two more NCAA championships.
Dalupan then joined commercial basketball via the now-defunct MICAA and BAP where he led the Crispa Redmanizers to 16 championship titles from 1962 to 1975 – 4 championships at MICAA and 12 at BAP.
When Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) took over as professional league, Dalupan went on to win 16 more championships – 9 with Crispa Redmanizers, 5 with Great Taste/and 1 with Purefoods.
His record of 15 PBA titles went unmatched for 23 years until Tim Cone surpassed Dalupan during the 2013-2014 PBA Philippine Cup with 16 titles.
Dalupan is also known for coaching the Philippine National Team to the 1967 Summer Universiade (fifth place), 1970 Asian Games (fifth place), 1970 Pesta Sukan (champion) and 1972 Pesta Sukan (runner-up).
In 1995, the PBA Coach of the Year Award was renamed to Baby Dalupan PBA Coach of the Year Award in recognition to his contribution to the league.
Dubbed as “The Maestro” for his uncanny ability to think ahead of the game and crucial change of players during matchup and rotations, Dalupan’s final appearance as coach was way back in 2005 when he led the TM Legends team to a 96-92 victory against Robert Jaworski’s TM Greats during an exhibition game to mark the launch of PBA Hall of Fame.