Coach Rasmo stands on the brink of Cesafi cage history

By: Jonas N. Panerio October 15,2016 - 10:11 PM

SEEING DOUBLE. Will Coach Rommel Rasmo become the first ever head coach in the history of CESAFI basketball to win both the juniors and seniors titles in the same year?

SEEING DOUBLE. Will Coach Rommel Rasmo become the first ever head coach in the history of CESAFI basketball to win both the juniors and seniors titles in the same year?

Never in the long and colorful history of the Cesafi has a head coach won both the juniors and seniors championship in the same season.

This year, one man has that opportunity to achieve a rare double – Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles and University of San Carlos Warriors head coach Rommel Rasmo.

There’s a perfectly good reason why the feat has never been done: it takes an incredible amount of mental and physical fortitude to coach two different squads with completely different personnel, who are competing on wholly different levels. Not to mention the fact that these two squads are the reigning champions of their respective divisions.

But Rasmo, in an exclusive sit-down with Cebu Daily News, said that his job is made easier with the help of his staff.

“I have to give credit to my fellow coaches. Naging madali para sa akin ang trabaho because they are very supportive and very understanding. They really know kung ano ang gusto ko. Kaya naging madali at na-balance ko because of them,” said the soft-spoken Ilonggo.

Rasmo is already halfway through to leading the Magis Eagles to a fourth straight title in the high school competition after they crushed the University of Cebu, 69-45, in
Game 1 of their best-of-three finals series. The Warriors on the other hand, are still locked in a Game 1 battle with the University of the Visayas Green Lancers as of this writing.

Inspired by Kung Fu Panda

Rasmo revealed that the decision to take two head coaching positions was not easy. Curiously, it was upon watching the animated film “Kung Fu Panda 3” on a flight back from Guam that he got inspired to make the move.

“Pabalik kami from Guam. I was on the plane and I was watching “Kung Fu Panda 3” and Master Shifu said ‘If you only do what you can do, you’ll never be better than what you are.’ That quote stuck with me and so I also spoke with my wife and Tito Perry (Lim, father of former Ateneo de Cebu and University of San Carlos guard Kiefer Lim). Tito
Perry has always been a big supporter of my coaching career and with their advice, I decided to take the USC job as well,” shared Rasmo.

“I think it was about time that I also grow as a coach,” he added.

Sterling roster

Rasmo has indeed earned his stripes down south, leading the Magis Eagles from the bottom all the way to the top. Along the way, he has helped mentor several players to both the UAAP and the NCAA as well as the Batang Gilas.

These are current Far Eastern University guard Rendell Senining, National University’s Rev Diputado, Joshua Sinclair and Dave Wilson Yu, the University of the Philippines’ Janjan Jaboneta, Pio Longa and Henry Asilum, Ateneo’s Kris Porter, Adamson’s Dawn Ochea and Arellano University’s Julius Cadavis among others.

But among his many achievements, Rasmo considers USC’s finals stint this season among his finest.

“I’m just happy that napaabot ko yung USC kasi let’s be honest, yung Ateneo de Cebu, there’s this feeling na ‘dapat lang’ sila makaabot ng finals. Malakas na sila eh. Andun na sila. Yung San Carlos, we never expected this. Our goal was to make the semifinals. I am just thankful that we got here because of the hardwork of the players. I’m very thankful sa opportunity na binigay ng Diyos. Kaya nga I told the players that we should go for it. Let’s take it one game at a time and let’s see if para sa atin ito.”

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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles, USC

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