Sunday, October 16, 2011

Fair Play: Cesafi does the right thing

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu on Oct. 17)
DURING the launch of  the new season a few months back, I asked Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy what he planned to do if the Cebu City Olympics and the Cesafi schedules clash again.

While he was non-committal back then, he also said, “Ma-storyaan ra na.”

It was a welcome change from last year’s clash of schedule, when the Cebu Eastern College Dragons had to forfeit their Cebu City Olympics games for Cesafi basketball, while Don Bosco took the other way around for football.

Now that the schedules have clashed again in basketball, Commissioner Tiukinhoy has promised to give way for the Cebu City Olympics, which is a commendable move.

This development shows how easy it is to solve conflicts like this—which occur regularly—if one sees the bigger picture.

Had Cesafi taken the same stand last year, it would mean one less venue for the CEC Dragons to show its basketball supremacy.

Now, the Dragons have a chance to go all the way to the Palarong Pambansa—provided, of course, they deliver in the City Olympics and the Cviraa.

I hope this move will be the start of a harmonious sports calendar in Cebu and organizers will be willing to work together.
On the other hand, while I commend this move, I think what happened to volleyball in the Cesafi was on the extreme end.

It seemed the tournament director, Ceva, which is also organizing the GUV Cup, just wanted to get the Cesafi done and over with that they crammed all the games in a short period, playing almost daily so the Cesafi will be over before the GUV Cup opens.

Now that’s extreme because I think the Cesafi games were sacrificed in the altar of a “synched schedule.”

But, since nobody’s complaining, I guess the volleyball community wanted it.

UFL CUP. I’m beginning to love this new Saturday habit of watching the UFL Cup on TV.

However, I’d rather go without a UFL Cup match than see Aly Borromeo, that trusty presence in the Azkal defense, get injured.
Borromeo, the Kaya and Azkal team captain, reportedly tore his ACL in the team’s 3-2 win over Diliman and I think with an injury like that, he’s done for the UFL Cup.

And that’s not even the bad news.

I was informed that an ACL injury takes about six months to heal and six months from today is March, which is the month the Azkals play its first major tournament in 2012—the AFC Challenge Cup.

Sure, the competition for spots in the Azkal defense is quite intense but I don’t think anyone can really replace Aly Borromeo.

I hope El Capitan will have a speedy recovery and will be back on the pitch.

CEBU VS. PACHANGA.  So the UFL, as I expected, turned down the protest of Cebu Queen City but the league has promised it will try to have the game played in Cebu.

And that prospect is already exciting some of the fans in Cebu, who have been following the UFL even when they had no hometown team to cheer for.

Of course the question is—as it always is when it’s about football in Cebu—where can we possibly hold such a game?

When Santi Araneta of Football Alliance UFL Philippines first asked me about a suitable venue, I immediately suggested Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu’s field, which was in pristine condition the last time I visited it. (And it’s also about five minutes away from my place.)

However, the school’s athletic director Rico Navarro said the size of the field may not pass the standard but he suggested another option—the Aboitiz Sports Field.

And, come to think of it, the reason the Aboitiz Sports Field was put up was to help boost the popularity of the sport in Cebu, which is suffering from a lack of venue.

And what’s a better boost than hosting a UFL game between Cebu Queen City United and Pachanga? It would be like Cebu vs. Bacolod because most of the Pachanga players are from Bacolod.

I think the football gods were smiling on Cebu when Queen City’s debut got cancelled.

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