Wednesday, August 05, 2015

Fair Play: Cesafi shows it means business

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Aug. 5 issue)
THE Cebu Institute of Technology-University basketball teams found out that the Cesafi really meant it when it said players with no ECG tests results won’t be allowed to play. The high school and basketball team lost their first game even without taking a shot after the commissioner had them defaulted against the University of the Visayas.

For the Cesafi officials, they mean business when it comes to this requirement and I think it’s a rigid rule that should be followed.

This rule was just a reaction, but a good one, to what happened in Manila when a young player in the peak of health suddenly collapsed and passed away a few days later.

Death in sports events is not new, and we’ve read of stories of professional footballers, runners or even weekend athletes collapsing suddenly mid-game or mid-stride; their bodies unable to cope with the physical strain.

Though the new Cesafi rule doesn’t necessarily prevent all that, it could possibly spot athletes who shouldn’t be straining themselves.

Athletes, because of their regular training and endurance, have this air of invulnerability and a doctor’s visit is rare for them; requiring them to have an ECG checkup is good for them.

Another Cesafi rule that I hope would be implemented as strictly this season? The presence of medical personnel in all games, not just basketball. Though there hasn’t been a major tragedy in Cesafi, there was one in Cebu sports history when a friendly game between M. Lhuillier and the Alaska Aces led to one promising local getting crippled for life.

In the college scene, it looks like the Southwestern University Cobras’ campaign is off to a bad start, losing to the University of San Carlos, 76-64, in a rematch of last year’s finals. With nine players only, the Cobras will always have the odds stacked against them in every game this season, and will be the underdog against top rivals like USC and the University of the Visayas.

And with nine in the lineup, will the weak teams field an army of floppers to reduce the Cobras further? That would be interesting if they would do that and how match officials would react.

Still, the defending champion showed in the loss against USC that you can’t really count them out, erasing a 47-29 lead to go up by 52-50. It’s just interesting, though, how their players would fare at the end of the regular season. Would they have enough gas in their tank for the playoffs?

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