THE University of San Carlos Warriors are looking forward to another amazing Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) season when the 2011 edition starts in August.
And while the other teams are still trying to come up with a perfect team, USC is going back to the basics on its training.
“We’re going back to the fundamentals (of the game). Bumalik kami lahat sa basics, no exceptions,” USC head coach Mike Reyes told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
This time last year, USC mulled backing out of the tournament after only nine players were left of its 15-man roster. Two of the nine were also at the sickbay, leaving them with just seven players.
The Warriors decided to live up to their monicker and stood up to the challenge and surprised everyone, even themselves, when they discovered that their lack of manpower, while a weakness to most, was actually their strength. USC finished in the top four even if they played with just seven players in the first two months of the tournament.
“I had already submitted the list of 15 players to the athletics department and so far, based on their evaluation, lahat pasado. Ewan ko lang kung di ba kami sasabit sa Cesafi screening. Pero whatever happens, we will be ready,” Reyes said.
Of the 15 players who saw action during the recently-concluded Partner’s Cup, only one was dropped—power forward Boyet Belanguel who failed the expectations of Reyes during the two-month-long tournament.
“Si Belanguel lang natanggal. But I have a replacement, Cid Joven “Yao” Cortes’ younger brother – Jake. He is taller and bigger than Yao,” added Reyes.
According to Reyes, the younger Cortes stands 6’3” and has a very good working attitude, just like his big brother.
This early, the Warriors’ lone goal is to make it to the Final Four and take their chances from there, one game at a time.
“We are again looking to make it to the Final Four and from there we will take the game one at a time,” he explained.
Dreaded for their run-and-gun game and steady defense, the Warriors—two time finalists—are among the crowd favorites despite the handicap in size and height.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 18, 2011.
IT WAS expected that the Southwestern University will be shaking up its line-up a bit for the upcoming Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi).
The change was directed at its coaching staff and not the players’ side.
But it would be a welcome change as the 11th season Cesafi will once more see a familiar figure calling the shots for the Cobras—Cebu’s multi-titled basketball coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba.
“We had a long discussion yesterday and we agreed to put in a new coach. And we chose Councilor Raul Alcoseba, and he also accepted,” SWU director Andrew Aznar told Sun.Star Cebu yesterday.
Antonio “Bong” Begontes will slide back as assistant coach together with Rey Potot.
“We had a very weak team and we need to make some changes. And Councilor Alcoseba probably can help us make the Cobras a winning team. But as of now, I am not expecting much from the team,” added Aznar.
Alcoseba, for his part, is grateful to the Aznars for picking him to coach the Cobras.
“A week ago, Andrew and I met and he asked me about the possibility of going back to coaching a collegiate team. I told him I am open to that possibility. So we had a meeting yesterday and he announced to the players that I would be the new coach of the Cobras,” Alcoseba said in a separate interview.
With Alcoseba calling the shots, the Cobras suddenly gained some popularity points and could join powerhouse teams UV Green Lancers and UC Webmasters as the team to beat this season.
Although it has been a decade since Alcoseba coached a collegiate team, he has continuously geared teams to several titles and has won several trophies for the multi-titled M. Lhuillier Kwarta Padala-Cebu Niños.
The last time he coached a collegiate varsity was in 1999 with champion team Cebu Doctors’ University White Stallions in the now defunct Cebu Collegiate Athletic Association.
“I don’t have any idea yet on what kind of team I have. I only met the players during the meeting. I will have the first glance tomorrow (today) in our first practice and we will see what we have to do from there. As of now, status quo lang usa,” said Alcoseba.
Alcoseba will now be testing wits at the Cesafi against members of his coaching staff with the Niños—Felix “Donbel” Belano, who is coaching the University of the Visayas, and Mike Reyes of University of San Carlos Warriors.
In addition to them are University of Cebu coach Roehl Gomez, Cebu Institute of Technology Wildcats’ Gilbert Demape, University of Southern Philippines Foundation Panthers’ Raul Latonio and the University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguars’ Edito Salacut.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 20, 2011.
IN all of its eight games last season, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) failed to win a single game, the worst-ever performance for a team that won five consecutive third place finishes in the first five years of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi).
But this season, expect a better performance from a different USPF.
“Hopefully padayun na ni nga nindot among duwa. Sa akong tan-aw nagka mature na ang mga players unya nakasabot na sila sa ilang tagsa tagsa ka mga role. Maayo unta kon walay ma injury ug walay ma disqualify sa screening,” USPF head coach Raul Latonio told Sun.Star Cebu.
Gone from last year’s line-up were Jordan Bardillas, Ellison Rivera and Christian Tinoy. Over the summer, Latonio tried out Brylle Meca, David Genobia, Jomari Sollano and Joshua Corcilles.
Based on their fourth place performance during the Partners’ Cup,the Panthers looked promising with their consistency in both defense and offensive ends.
“We are still shopping for players but I am not very optimistic about it. USPF would be the last team a player goes to. But it won’t be too bad if we had the same line-up as that in the Partners’ Cup,” added Latonio.
The most remarkable performance of the Panthers was against the visiting UP Maroons during the semifinal match, where they gave the bigger UAAP squad a run for their money before yielding the game in overtime.
“The way we played in the Partners’ Cup was good enough. I am satisfied with our performance because we always proved that we can win a game against stronger opponents. What we need now is just some fine tuning. We need to stay more focused especially in the end game. That is the area we need to work on,” said Latonio.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 21, 2011.
CEBU Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy said the Cesafi will now be strict in imposing fines on erring players this season.
Commissioner Tiukinhoy said a player or coach who will get thrown out in a game will pay a P5,000 fine and would not be able to return unless he pays it.
If a player or coach gets thrown out again, he will pay a P10,000 fine and could be suspended for the rest of the season.
Meanwhile, defending champions University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters and the Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons will open the basketball season on Aug. 7 at the Cebu Coliseum.
UC will take on the University of San Jose-Recoletos in the main game, while the CEC Dragons face the University of the Visayas in the first high school match.
UC has been working overtime to form a very formidable team that could help 6’10 Junemar Fajardo complete his mission, while USJ-R is actively recruiting to put up a champion team.
For the basketball season, Cesafi will adopt a double round robin elimination with the top four teams advancing to the semifinal round. The No. 1 and NO. 2 teams will enjoy a twice-to-beat edge in the semis.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on June 24, 2011.