Thursday, July 31, 2014

Fair Play: Are you ready for Cesafi season?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's July 28 edition)
EVER since Sunnex (Sun.Star Network Exchange) decided to air the Cesafi basketball matches over livestream, college basketball in Cebu has never been the same again.

Fans who watch the game no longer need to go to the misnomer that is the New Cebu Coliseum—though sportswriters have dropped the name new over a decade ago—as they can watch the matches in the comfort of their homes.

I think the Gullas family—who owns the University of the Visayas and The Freeman—was able to watch the games, thanks to Sun.Star Cebu.

If you have a laptop, a smartphone, or better yet, a smart TV that allows you to watch shows online, then you can watch your favorite team without having to leave your house.

Better yet, you can interact with fans, too, and anonymously at that.

I have a confession to make. In one finals game, the chat session was a bit mild, so I decided to get into an argument online. Using two identities, one pro-UV and the other pro-SWU, I started dishing out jeers and cheers and watched how others picked it up and joined the fray.
If trolling’s your thing, well, you sure can get a kick out of it.

This year, aside from my alma mater USC, I’m hoping UV wins it all because an athletic program that puts emphasis on education deserves its chance to take off. As for USC, well, the school has gone to new heights ever since the alumni got involved.

This Saturday, the new Cesafi season will kick off and the Sunnex crew will be there, to stream the games so that every Juan (pardon the pun) can watch the games. Aside from airing the games, there are plans to do profiles of the teams, and judging how passionate the parents are of the high school teams, these profile features are expected to be shared a lot over social media.

It won’t be just basketball that would get the limelight this season. Due to numerous requests in the previous season, some volleyball games will be streamed, too, along with the knockout stage of the football tournament.

I think this is the first time that local volleyball and football matches in Cebu will get such treatment and it’s about time don’t you think? The two sports are the fastest-growing sports in the country today and both have professional leagues already.

This season, the college football landscape is about to change, too, with the USC alumni stepping in to help the college team. USJ-R, the perennial champion, is always the favorite, while UC—which surprised everybody including themselves during their title run in 2010—could spring another surprise too.

What the three teams have in common is strong outside support from stakeholders, not just from the school. USJ-R and USC have the alumni, while UC has Erco.

So, who’s your bet?

No comments: