THE Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats will have a new bench tactician for the new Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Basketball Season in August. CIT-U management picked a coach who have served and brought some honors to the school as replacement to the current coach, Bembem Alcaraz.
CIT-U put the task to revive the winning spirit of the Wildcats on the shoulders of Edsel Vallena, who once guided the team to the CESAFI Finals. Vallena was the captain of the Wildcats that finished runner-ups to the Cebu Doctors University White Stallions in the defunct Cebu Amateur Athletic Association (CAAA) in 1994. He was also the instrumental for CIT-U’s runner-up finish to the University of the Visayas Green Lancers on the inaugural CESAFI Season in 2001.
Although, his role was an assistant to Alex de la Torre, Vallena was responsible for preparing the Wildcats, giving them plays and instructions at the sidelines. The right to call timeouts, the players movement and overall decision making was reserved for de la Torre, though. Since Vallena left CIT-U in 2002, the Wildcats standings plummeted. They became a perennial doormat team, the whipping boys until the 2018 Season, even if sometimes they managed to score upset wins and occasional trip to the quarter final round.
“Gitawagan na man ko sa CIT-U management nga pa adtoon sa CIT last month pa. Pero gahapon (March 12) lang gyud na confirm nga ako nay padalhon sa college. Gusto sa management nga mag-start na ko dayon pero ako lang giingnan nga sa April na ko magsugod kay ipatiwas lang usa nako ang kontrata ni coach Bembem (Alcaraz) nga mo end karon March,” Vallena told NewsPH.org. (CIT-U called me up last month to talk about this coaching job. But we sealed the deal only yesterday.
They want me to start right away but I begged off, since I still have a Governor’s Cup to attend to and coach Bembem Alcaraz also had until the end of March on his contract with CIT-U.) Accordingly. Alcaraz, who coached the Wildcats since 2015, will handle the high school squad together with Andot Fuentes. Vallena is currently coaching the Danao City team while he maintaining the Lilo-an based One-on-One Basketball Training Camp.
One of his products is PBA rookie Paul Andres Desiderio who started with the One-on-One BTC at the age of 8. “For now I will evaluate the current rooster. And I hope I can get some players from Mindanao and probably some finds from this ongoing Governor’s Cup,” Vallena continued. Vallena hoped that his fellow Wildcats alumni would help him find talents and asks CIT-U alumni and student body for support, especially on the team’s game in CESAFI tournament.