Fair Play: A preview of the 2015 Cesafi football finals.

NO offense to the other teams, but we all know that when it comes to Cesafi high school football, the title is almost always a battle between two schools--Don Bosco Technological Center and Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

If I remember it right, both teams have won three titles each at each other’s expense since 2010, and each final is always fierce but played fairly. Both teams, too, have their own solid following from their alumni who always turn up for the matches. In last year’s final, Sacred Heart took the lead in the first half but conceded two goals in a three-minute span in the second to lose, 2-1.

And this Saturday morning’s match won’t be any different. It’s just the elimination round match in the high school division, but whenever the two teams meet, nothing is ever ordinary.

In their first two games, Don Bosco has gobbled up the opposition with an 8-0 win over the University of San Jose-Recoletos and a 10-0 rout of the University of San Carlos. In their first game, the Magis Eagles blanked the University of Southern Philippines Foundation, 3-0. The two teams haven’t faced a common foe this season yet, so it’s difficult to gauge who has the advantage this year.

But one thing for sure is that the winner this Saturday has the psychological edge going into the final on Sept. 9. By the way, I hope Cesafi tweaks the schedule for the high school finals. The battle for third and finals are scheduled at 8 a.m. and 10 a.m., respectively, while the afternoon matches will have the second round of the college division. If possible, I hope the final match will be moved to 3 p.m., so it will serve as the day’s highlight.

While the high school division is a toss-up between two teams, the college competition is a much closer contest with all teams in contention after two days. Yes, USJ-R leads with 6 points, followed by UV and UC, which has three. USPF and USC are last with zero. Of the five teams, only defending champion USC has the bleakest chances, after losing the first two games, while USPF has a game at hand.

UV, which lost to UC, 4-0, on opening day bounced back with a resounding 3-1 win over USC. That win was really a surprise and shows how UV shouldn’t be disregarded.

I watched the first half and saw a USC team dominate, getting close to scoring three or four times before taking a 1-0 lead.

When I left, I told the usual joke to USC assistant Totot Colina about how it’s only the first goal that’s difficult to get. “Madungagan pa na pa’g second half.”

It was true...for UV.



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