Monday, August 24, 2015

Fair Play: Football restores DBTC's tattered Cesafi image

(This is my Fair Play column for Sun.Star Cebu's Aug. 24 edition)
THE University of San Carlos avoided an off-field embarrassment only to stumble on-field in the opening round of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. football tournament at the Cebu City Sports Center last Saturday.

The defending champions faced the prospect of having their first game forfeited because the Golden booters still didn’t have their new uniforms! And Cesafi rules bar a team from playing sans a uniform, as what the CEC Dragons learned in volleyball against the SHS-Ateneo de Cebu. How embarrassing, losing a game because you don’t have uniforms.



Luckily, the stars aligned a bit for the Warriors as the first game between UV and UC was delayed for an hour as the Cesafi athletics event was using the field for the discus throw.

The new USC uniforms finally arrived some 10 minutes before the UV vs. UC game ended, and had the first match started on time, it would have come right at the end of the 15 minutes grace period tournament manager Francis Ramirez was planning to give the Warriors.

To be fair to USC though, it wasn’t the team’s fault. They had the measurements for the new uniform as early as June but regulations forced the school to look for a new supplier, hence the photo-finish arrival of their new kits.

Perhaps they should have stuck to their old kits because 45 minutes into the game against USJ-R, they were trailing 2-0, before eventually scoring one back to lose their debut, 2-1. Totot Colina told me yesterday three hand-balls weren’t called in their game against USJ-R.

The University of Cebu, too, started well, taking a 3-0 lead in the first 20 minutes and forcing UV to change keepers early. Ene Famous hit a well-struck free kick that went past the wall, Marc Felicida pounced on a rebound and a soft attempt by Famous that went straight was bungled by the keeper, who made a funny mad scramble to get if off the goalline but failed. Coach Eddie Buot changed keepers and the starting goalie spent the rest of the game on the bench, his head buried under his shirt. I hope the guy gets to recover his confidence in the rest of the games.

Francis, a former keeper, summed it up well. “Ayaw ka-guol kung masudlan. Naa ra bitaw na net, dili bitaw na mulayo ang bola.”

Sometimes, things like that happen and the UV keeper should just learn to forget that game and move on.

UC really played well in that match—and no, Glenn Ramos won’t be bragging they’d win the title—and it would be interesting how the team fares against USC in their next match on Aug. 29.

This year’s format is unique. It’s a double-round robin in the collegiate ranks and the team that sweeps its elimination round matches, will automatically win the crown. Otherwise it’s No. 1 and No. 2 for the title. Right now, that sweep option is now only available for UC, USJ-R, which beat USPF yesterday.

In high school, the Don Bosco Technological Center is making up for its tattered reputation in basketball by winning big in football. Their basketball team lost all five games by an average of 37.6 points, including one by 69 points to USC (102-33) but in football, it’s the other way around.

DBTC had a hearty breakfast, lunch, dinner and snacks and made USJ-R foot the bill in its opening 8-0 win. DBTC was so dominant it could have fielded five of its basketball players in lieu of its starters and still win. Yesterday, it was USC’s turn to serve buffet to DBTC in the form of a 9-0 victory.

And of course, its real test will be SHS-Ateneo de Cebu on Aug. 29 at 10 a.m., a game which could be a preview of the high school finals.

SHS-AdC will come armed with its school officials and athletic director, will it be the same for DBTC?

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