Thursday, October 16, 2014

Fair Play: What's wrong with Cesafi schedule?

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Oct. 15 edition)
FIRST it was the football tournament. Now basketball, too?

Had the original schedule in football pushed through, the finalists of the Cesafi football tournament would have played back-to-back matches in two days, something that’s uncalled for in a tournament whose members just belong in one area.

I mean, it’s not like the Palarong Pambansa, which has small window for its games, hence back-to-back matches for the teams that come all over the country.



Thankfully, the weather played spoilsport, postponing the Sunday matches to give the finalists an extra day’s rest—save for runner-up University of Southern Philippines Foundation, which incidentally ran out of steam in the second half.

Why the semifinals and finals matches weren’t held a week apart puzzles me, just as it’s puzzling why the Cesafi college finals is held in back-to-back playdates.

Game 1 on Monday, Game 2 on Tuesday, Game 3 on Thursday, and if Necessary, Game 4 on Friday. That’s a crazy schedule and I pray, not only for a University of San Carlos comeback, but that no player gets injured in this back-to-back matches.

And it’s not that they are constrained for time, heck, if they wanted to, they could have started the college finals a day after the battle for third place finished last Oct. 4.

The high school finals started last Oct. 7, and if organizers wanted to separate the high school and college finals, they could have started it on Oct. 8. But they held it a week later—which, coincidentally, is exam week and now you have back-to-back matches?

Why? Do the finals have to be held together with the Visayas-Mindanao eliminations of the Philippine Collegiate Champions League?

I hope, at the end of the Cesafi tournament, the organizers will really take a long hard look at how they scheduled the tournament this year. And I offer two examples—the football finals between Don Bosco Technological Center and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu at 2 p.m. on a holiday and Games 1 and 2 between the University of the Visayas and SHS-AdC at 6:45 p.m. and 5:30 p.m. on a school day.

The football finals had more students watching than the two basketball games combined.

More parents, watched, too. If it’s a school day, would you stay out until, what, 10 p.m. to watch a basketball game?

Or are students not the primary consideration when Cebu’s school-based league map out its schedule?

Back-to-back matches, in the finals?

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