Virgilio ‘Baby’ Dalupan, also known as “The Maestro” of Philippine basketball, passed away reportedly due to pneumonia. He was 92.
Retired PBA legend Ricardo Brown posted the sad news Thursday morning, thanking his former coach when he was still with Great Taste. The post read:
“A true iconic, Philippine Basketball legend like no other left us all last evening. You can rest in peace now, Coach.
This photo is the last time I saw Coach Baby at his home in Manila. My last words to him were simple and real:
“Thank you for everything you did for me. Love you always, Coach Baby. Take good care and God Bless.”
Coach Dalupan is one of the highly successful coaches in the PBA, pocketing a total of 15 titles. He won 9 while coaching Crispa, 5 with Great Taste and one with Purefoods.
He is also the brains behind the first grand slam in the PBA when Crispa swept all three conferences in 1976.
He was also well-known for his coaching genius in the collegiate ranks. He was behind the 12 UAAP titles of the University of the East Red Warriors and 2 NCAA titles for the Ateneo Blue Eagles.
Below is the official statement from the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP):
“We in SBP deeply mourn the passing of Coach Baby Dalupan. He was the most multi-titled coach in elite Philippine basketball –combining his collegiate, commercial, PBA and national team stints into 52 Championships.
He likewise served flag and country when he coached the national team five (5) times in various international tournaments, including the 1959 FIBA World Championship and the 1970 Asian Games.
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.”