CEBU CITY – Local players, coaches and basketball personalities met the appointment of Cebuano coaching icon Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba by the University of Cebu with mixed emotions.
With the local coaching legend set to sign his contract with UC on Friday afternoon, the Cebuano basketball community continued to struggle to come to terms with the development and the ouster of erstwhile head coach Kern Sesante, revered and regarded by the Webmasters as a 'second father.'
UC’s longtime team manager Atty. Baldomero Estenzo praised Alcoseba’s arrival, saying that his coaching chops would greatly help the Webmasters’ largely inexperienced squad.
“Yayoy (Alcoseba), with his wealth of experience will be a welcome addition to the college basketball team,” said the longtime UC official.
However, for Justine Dacalos, UC’s spitfire guard, he remained in shock of the development.
“It’s tough. I don’t know how we will all adjust. I feel sad for coach Kern (Sesante). He’s such a kind person for this to happen to him,” said Dacalos.
UC alumni Edward Pao and Janjan Auditor, who got to play for Alcoseba in his one and only season with the Cobras back in 2015, said the news came out of nowhere. Nevertheless, they consider Alcoseba’s arrival to be a coup and a boost for the Webmasters’ title aspirations.
“I'm sad that an unproven, successful alumnus who was barely getting his feet wet got replaced. But I am happy they got a legendary, well-respected coach that knows how to get the best out of his players and most importantly he knows how to win!” said Pao, who was part of the back-to-back title winning June Mar Fajardo-led Webmasters team in 2010 and 2011.
“I'm just shocked because I could never imagine coach Yayoy being the head coach of UC. It reminds me of the funny incident of him and Joever Samonte!” recalled Pao with a snicker.
Alcoseba nearly got into it with Samonte, the current head coach of the UC Baby Webmasters, who was then an assistant on the college team, after the series concluded in Game Five.
Auditor, on the other hand, shared that Sesante and this batch of Webmasters had a special bond that went well beyond the confines of the basketball court.
“I have mixed feelings about this. I feel sad for the players since I saw that they’re not just a team, but more like a family. They have a great bond and Coach Kern really supports them. On the other hand, I’m happy since I know Coach Yayoy would help this team a lot.”
Current SWU head coach and athletic director Mike Reyes said that it would now be “awkward” to coach againt Alcoseba, who he has been on the same sidelines with, since 2005.
“It’s awkward pero that always happens in any sport,” shared Reyes.