IF you're a fan of college basketball in Cebu, then you'd better go to the Cebu Coliseum tomorrow for Game 1 of t he finals series between Southwestern University and the University of the Visayas.
These two teams have been at each other's throats for the past four decades--or even longer--and last year, their semifinal meeting ended with four UV players getting suspended for the rest of the season and their team manager Samsam Gullas apologizing to their fans for their woeful behavior.
At that time, SWU was safely ahead and their finals stint against the University of Cebu was a sure thing when the UV players started channeling their inner Royce Gracies against the hapless SWU players.
And in the history of the Cesafi, it was UV's most embarrassing exit--losing in the semifinals for the first time-- and losing it all. And it happened while their rivals enjoyed a comeback of sorts in the collegiate scene, making the finals for the first time and taking then defending champion UC to five games.
Now, UC's gone kaput and UV has a chance to claim another Cesafi title, while SWU, which lost to UV twice this year, will make sure the Green Lancers won't claim a title at their expense.
Who will win the mind games?
Well, better find out. Game 1 is tomorrow at the Cebu Coliseum.
UFL's NEW COMMISSIONER. I think the United Football League made the right move when it created the office of the commissioner and appointed Bonnie Ladrido for the job.
The Football Alliance runs the UFL and when you have team owners running the FA, eventually, you'll going to have questions regarding the team owners' objectivity in UFL matters. Having a commissioner run the daily affairs of the league erases that.
I really don't know Bonnie and haven't met him but based on a brief e-mail exchange with him when the suspensions were handed out to a few members of the Azkals and their coaching staff, he knows what he's doing.
I’m not sure if they did it last year, but I hope Commie Bonnie—there’s a certain ring to it, doesn’t it?—will look at referees’ and players’ conduct.
Yeah we have red cards for stupid players who think with their fists, but I don’t think that’s enough. When you have players getting injured from silly challenges or sneaky punches, and the other guy getting away with it with a one-match ban, or worse, none at all, that’s not good for the sport or league.
In the PBA, it’s the commissioner’s job if these players deserve a longer ban or a bigger fine, but last year in the UFL, a lot of players got away with it. Football in the Philippines is no longer the same—with the UFL, the Azkals and TV coverage—but sadly, we have some footballers who think and play otherwise.
Some of the UFL players support their families through football and it's a pity if they'd have to spend time away from it while nursing an injury. Most of the teams too are spending a fortune for their players and UFL stint, and getting them to spend more because some gung-ho footballer wants to show how tough he is on national TV is something that shouldn't happen.
And it’s about time the UFL commissioner put an end to this.
As for the referees, I was told that due to politics, the best referees in the country—the guys accredited with Fifa—only handle Division 2 matches and not Division 1.
That’s plain wrong and the best refs, regardless of local affiliation, should be calling the games for Division 1.
And one more thing, being a football fan from the Visayas, I hope the new UFL commissioner will look at bringing some of the games in Iloilo, Bacolod, Dumaguete, Tacloban or Cebu. Teams like Kaya, Loyola, Stallions, Global and of course, Cebu, have a strong following in the Visayas.
To Commissioner Bonnie, good luck in your new job. Don’t break a leg, but stop those guys from breaking other players’ legs.