CEBU CITY – The University of Cebu pulled off a stunning coup as it tapped one of the true icons of Cebu basketball, Raul 'Yayoy' Alcoseba, to be the Webmasters' new head coach.
Erstwhile head coach Kern Sesante announced the coaching change to his wards during their practice session on Wednesday evening.
According to the young coach, the move had the blessing of school owner, Atty. Augusto Go.
It did not take long for Alcoseba to find his next assignment after his successful stint with the Southwestern University-Phinma came to an amicable end last March.
According to UC team manager Atty. Baldomero Estenzo, Alcoseba’s arrival would greatly help the team especially with the wealth of experience the latter brings to the court.
“Yayoy (Alcoseba), with his wealth of experience will be a welcome addition to the college basketball team,” said the longtime UC official.
Alcoseba’s arrival however, meant the departure of Sesante, who was just getting his feet wet after taking over the helm just last season. Though he wholly accepted the decision, he lamented not being able to see the team he built through.
“Nanghihinayang would be the most appropriate word to describe how I feel. I had already completed the lineup for the coming season and I believe we had a more competitive team this year considering that we worked hard to keep the core of the team intact,” said Sesante, a former standout guard for UC back in the day.
“But I understand and I completely respect Atty. Go's decision. I'm just thankful to Atty. Go and Atty. Estenzo for giving me the opportunity to coach. I'm sure the team will do well under Coach Yayoy, given his experience,” he added.
Sesante said he was asked to stay on as an assistant but respectfully declined, as he wanted Alcoseba to have a free hand in selecting his coaching staff.
The announcement caught the Webmasters off guard. Team skipper JR Puerto related to SPIN.ph that he and a lot of his teammates shed tears upon hearing of the fate of the man they have come to consider as their second father.
“As team captain, masakit na mawawala na ang coach namin. Wala siyang katulad. Napakabait at sobrang supportive,” the reigning Cesafi slam dunk champion shared.
“Para na siyang tatay namin,” he added.
UC is aiming to make it back to the Cesafi’ elite after capturing consecutive titles in 2010 and 2011 behind the efforts of now reigning PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and his San Miguel teammate Brian Heruela.
Ironically, the Webmasters’ 2011 championship came at the expense of Alcoseba’s Cobras.