CEBU CITY - Opting to concentrate on his political career, fabled coach Raul `Yayoy’ Alcoseba announced his resignation from collegiate power powerhouse Southwestern University in a stunning turn of events on Friday.
Alcoseba himself confirmed to Spin.ph his decision to leave coaching and focus on his campaign for a provincial board member in the first district of Cebu in the coming national elections 10 days from now.
The controversial coach admitted that finding the right balance between coaching the Cobras and tending to his political career has taken a toll on him.
“I just want to focus on my political career right now. My areas of responsibility range from Talisay to Sibonga. So that alone is a challenge, distance-wise,” said Alcoseba.
“Plus I have my business to tend to. It’s a lot to juggle. Hence I’ve come to the decision to step down as head coach in order to serve the first district more.”
Alcoseba’s time has been taken recently by the campaign that he has delegated the coaching duties of Southwestern to his deputy Mike Reyes in team's campaign in the Filoil Flying V Preseason tournament in Manila.
While his tenure as Southwestern coach had been brief, there was no doubt Alcoseba’s impact on the school’s basketball program was indelible.
Upon assuming the coaching job of the Cobras, he immediately turned around the school's fortunes.
Alcoseba steered Southwestern to the finals of the 2011 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), losing the championship to June Mar Fajardo and the University of Cebu Webmasters in a thrilling five-game series.
He was unfazed by the Cobras’ runner-up finish and instead, solidified the team’s roster by recruiting arguably the program’s biggest acquisition in 6-foot-7 Cameroonian sensation Ben Mbala.
The move eventually paid off as Southwestern clinched its first and only Cesafi title last year with a five-game conquest of the University of the Visayas.
The resignation of Alcoseba was met with utter shock especially from school management, his coaching staff, and the Southwestern community.
SWU athletic director Ryan Aznar did not see Alcoseba’s resignation coming especially with the Cobra’s recent success.
“It’s really up to the school’s management to decide whether or not they will accept his resignation. I feel the team’s morale will surely be dampened by this development, but we just have to respect his decision and move on from here,” said Aznar.
Reyes, the most trusted deputy of Alcoseba dating back to their partnership with the multi-titled M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Ninos, was at a loss for words when pressed for comment on the matter.
“I’m really shocked. Minsan nasabi niya sa akin na baka hindi na siya magtatagal ditto (SWU). I just didn’t expect that he would do it immediately. Pero if ever man na `yun na talaga, he has put this program in a great position to succeed for many years to come,” said Reyes.
Another of Alcoseba’s assistant, Rocky, who is also his son, remains hopeful his father would still change his mind.
“I’m hoping that he reconsiders this move. But should he push through with it, I guess everybody just has to step up their game,” he said.