Ed ‘Big Easy’ Cosino bids Saipan adieu

Posted on May 27 2022

Vedasto “Ed” Cosino poses with, from left, his son Tyrone, wife Rowena, and daughter Trixy at the Sugar King Park in Garapan. The veteran center and his family will leave Saipan this Saturday, May 28. (MARK RABAGO )

Veteran center Vedasto “Ed” Cosino is bidding adieu to Saipan after making the island his home for the past 33 years.

.“We want to try living in the U.S. mainland for a change. We’ve lived here more than three decades already so we’re moving to San Leandro first then to San Diego, California,” he said.

Cosino will relocate to California with his wife Rowena and three of their children—Troy (23 years old), Tyrone (16), and Trixy (11). Two of their elder children—Tristan (30) and Terrence (29)—are based in Cosino’s native Manila, Philippines.

Asked what he’ll miss most about island life, the many time champion and mythical team member of local leagues said it will be Saipan’s tropical year-round climate and, of course, his close friends.

“Life is so simple here and I have a lot of good friends here. Almost every day on Saipan is happy and problem-free.”

Cosino, who was the starting center of runner-up Eagle Construction in the just concluded masters division of the Inaugural SCLC Basketball League, said his most unforgettable moment on the hardcourts of Saipan happened nearly 30 years ago.

Ed Cosino, who arrived on Saipan in 1989, said he’ll miss the island’s tropical year-round climate and his close friends the most as he relocates to California this Saturday. (MARK RABAGO )

“It was when we played the CNMI nationals in a best-of-three championship in 1993. In Game 2, I dominated the inside and outside but in Game 3 we lost because they really won’t let their national teams lose here,” he said.

Just some of the players in that 1993 CNMI national team were Ray Lizama, Edsel Mendoza, and brothers Tony and Ed Diaz and Peter and Abong Camacho.

Former CNMI national basketball coach Elias Rangamar said Cosino is one of the smartest players he has known and is the consummate team player. “He’s always about how he can help his team win. I wish we could’ve played more but all of us have creaking knees now.”

The former Division of Sports & Recreation staff said he’ll definitely miss Cosino’s friendship because every time they meet they always talk about the old days of playing basketball at the sauna-like conditions of the old Gilbert C. Ada Gymnasium.

“I like to call him the ‘Big Easy’ because he’s one of the best passing big men and he can shoot outside and he can play inside. I enjoy playing with him as we played together in some leagues. But at the beginning our teams played against each other but there’s always respect. I wish him luck on his future endeavors,” he added.

Former Northern Marianas Sports Association president Michael White said Cosino was one heck of a competitor when he squared up against him in the ‘90s.

“Ed was always a tough opponent. I wish him well in whatever the future may hold for him.”

His coach at Eagle Construction, Boy Garcia, said the 6’3” Cosino was one of the most dominant centers on island during his prime.

“Wish him good luck in the next episode of his journey,” he said.

Bong Malasarte, who played with and against Cosino in the past, said the former Philippine Amateur Basketball League player was one of the best players to have come from the Philippines and played on Saipan.

“Wishing you all the best in your new journey. We will miss you in the basketball courts of Saipan,” he said.

Cosino moved to Saipan in 1989 after injuries forced him to quit semi-pro basketball in the Philippines.

He initially was employed by RB Construction, where he juggled work during the day and played for the company’s team in the evenings and weekends.

Cosino suited up for champion teams FT-SNE and Toyota Wheels of the early 1990s.

He would also play for the Tony Sablan-coached Verizon teams in the late 1990s and early 2000. That team went on to dominate the 35-and-over masters league with the likes of Richard “Doc” Brostrom, Dado Vistal, Frank Iglecias, Elmer Pineda, Jack Palacios, and the late Felix Palacios in its lineup.

Other teams he suited up for in the course of a 33-year basketball career on Saipan were SMF Shell, Visminda, and other notable teams in the UFO Inter-Organizational Basketball League.

Mark Rabago | Associate Editor
Mark Rabago is the Associate Editor of Saipan Tribune. Contact him at Mark_Rabago@saipantribune.com
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