Monday, June 20, 2011

Fair Play: Working together for Cebu sports

LAST week, when our reporter interviewed Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy for updates on the Cesafi opening and whether the league, this year, would make sure its schedule won’t be in conflict with the other tournaments, he said:

“Sila’y mag-agad namo, di mi mag-agad nila.”

That surprised me. I thought it was a thoughtless statement that reeked of arrogance.

So I was pleasantly surprised a week later when the commissioner sang a different tune.

Cesafi, after all, will work with the other tournaments to avoid a conflict of schedule.

And that is what is really needed.

Tiukinhoy’s promise to iron out the schedule will do wonders for the local sports scene as it will be an enormous relief, not only to the Cesafi, but to the coaches, players and tournament managers themselves, who are sometimes the tournament managers also of the Milo Olympics, City Olympics.

The Cesafi season—at least for events other than basketball—is usually brief.

Volleyball, football last for six weeks at most, while swimming, tennis and athletics last even shorter.

The conflict in schedules usually happens, and I say this without bias, because of Cesafi and its penchant to start other events late.

Last year, the non-basketball events opened in September, which meant that by the time the City Olympics started, the Cesafi games were still in full swing.

What happened? Don Bosco College was forced to forfeit one Cesafi game as it was in contention for the Cebu City Olympics football title.

The Cebu Eastern College Dragons, too, were caught in a bind as it made the finals of both Cesafi and Cebu City Olympics basketball event. It chose Cesafi over the chance to meet the country’s best high school teams had they won the City and Regional titles.

And in the totem pole of high school sports, the Cebu City Olympics is the highest, while the Cesafi is third, next to the Milo Little Olympics. In high school, if you win a Cesafi title, that’s it. In the Cebu City and Milo Olympics, win a title and you go to the next level.

The commissioner and the board sure recognize that and that is the reason why schools want to join Milo or the City Olympics, even if they still have matches in the Cesafi.
But if they can work it out, why not?

The Milo Little Olympics is just a two-weekend affair in August, the same with the City Olympics in late October.

And since almost all the tournament managers are just the same folks, they surely can work out a schedule where no two events will be in conflict?

That way, the commissioner’s job would be a bit easier, and he won’t be fielding questions like, “Sir, what will the Cesafi do to _____ since they forfeited their games?”

AZKALS CONTEST. The Azkals in Germany had a fun contest the other night—a contest on which group can sing the national anthem best. Some critics are pointing out that at the start of every game, most of the Pinoys who are based abroad don’t sing the anthem, since they don’t know the words.

I guess this is one step in addressing that critique and the prize isn’t shabby, 1,500 Euros to the winning group, which was composed of Chieffy Caligdong, Phil Younghusband, Stephen Shrock, and Patrick Hinrichsen.

But I heard there’s an even better contest on July 3, one for the best streaker.

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