CEBU CITY – A day after the puzzling 'disappearing act' of Frederick Elombi in University of Cebu’s 56-69 loss to University of the Visayas in the deciding game of the 17th Cesafi men’s basketball finals, Webmasters head coach Yayoy Alcoseba leapt to his player's defense.
Alcoseba explained the Cameroonian star was suffering from high fever on the day of the game.
“He was hobbled by a fever and even had to consult the league doctor before playing,” said the multi-titled head coach, a claim that was corroborated by league physician Dr. Rhoel Dejano who said he gave medicine to the 6-foot-8 forward before tip-off.
However, the treatment did little to help Elombi whose headaches were made even worse by the leech-like UV defense that forced him to play a nightmare of a game, finishing with a mere three points – all on free throws and all during the fourth period.
Although he managed to help out in other departments, tallying 11 rebounds, six assists, four steals and three blocks, the lack of scoring hobbled the Webmasters as they failed to keep up when the Green Lancers stepped on the gas pedal in the fourth to break the game wide open - and claim their 12th men’s basketball title.
Alcoseba though, offered no excuse and gave all the credit to UV.
“I’m not making any excuses. We lost to a very good UV team. They deserve the championship,” said Alcoseba.
As for Elombi, Alcoseba said he still has a lot to learn.
“Frederick is still young. Despite how good he was in the first and second rounds and the semis, he is still inexperienced and has much to learn,” assessed Alcoseba of his stud recruit who finished the season with averages of 21.8 points, 13.6 rebounds, 2.6 steals and 2.1 blocks per game.
Alcoseba added that with the season over, they will now work on improving the rest of Elombi’s arsenal.
Elombi isn’t the only inexperienced player on his roster, Alcoseba said, but they all did well to reach the finals and give battle-tested opponents a scare.
“The team is young and inexperienced. We only have three players playing in their last season. The rest are rookies and sophomores. Despite this, we managed to reach the finals," said the veteran coach.
"I’m pretty sure nobody counted us to be in the Final Four or even in the finals but we did, and even surprised UV with that one game. Hopefully we will learn from this experience and improve on it next season,” added Alcoseba.