‘Let players choose’-A A +A
Friday, September 27, 2013
THE Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) has recently been riddled with one of its biggest controversies to date—getting court dates for its rules on residency.
In the 80s, when PBA legend Jojo Lastimosa came to Cebu to try his fate in college ball under Cebu Sports Hall of Famer coach Manuel Baring Sr. in the University of San Jose Recoletos, he also came under fire.
At that time, Lastimosa was uprooted from Cagayan de Oro to play for the then Cebu Amateur Athletic Association (CAAA), the forerunner of the Cesafi. Although he was part of the original lineup submitted to the league, Lastimosa only played toward the end of the tournament when USJ-R was facing the University of the Visayas in the finals. Protests were lodged and Lastimosa did not play that year.
Lastimosa chose his own path, uprooting himself from his hometown and grabbing an opportunity that was presented to him.
This is why Lastimosa said he disagrees with Cesafi’s residency rule as he believes the student-athletes should be given the right to choose their paths.
“I am not in favor of Cesafi’s residency rule as it takes away the kid’s right to choose where he plays,” said Lastimosa, who watched Game 2 of the Cesafi finals between the Southwestern University and the University of the Visayas last Thursday.
Lastimosa added that while he understands the school’s reason to protect its interest, he said the schools should also try and understand that this is how this sport works.
“I hope they would change the terms of that rule. Although I understand what the schools are trying to protect, they must also understand na ganyan talaga ang basketball. Some get recruited and they should be able to choose the best situation for them,” said Lastimosa, who is currently an assistant coach for Alaska Aces in the PBA.
When Lastimosa moved to Manila in 1985 to play for the Philippine Amateur Basketball League, Cebuanos came in droves to watch him play. When he played for Purefoods in the PBA in 1988, he not only thrilled the crowd but finished his debut year with the Rookie of the Year award.
Lastimosa also noted that Cebu basketball, although still laced with the brand of Visayan basketball—gutsy, with a lot of cheap shots—has evolved a lot.
“It has evolved a lot. Madami pa rin talent because as we all know, Cebu has always been a hotbed for basketball until Manila happened,” said Lastimosa.
Lastimosa also said that because of this, having imports is one of the best options for Cesafi since a lot of its talents are moving to Manila.
“Having imports is a good thing for the league. Cesafi needs an infusion of imports kay ang kasagaran nga lig-on mu adto man ug Manila,” said Lastimosa.
“People want to watch players nga dagko and athletic and maayo manuwa. Mao na ang ganahan tan-awon sa mga tao. Also, the players will step up their game if they go against strong players,” said Lastimosa.
Lastimosa said that he will be holding basketball camps in Cebu next year.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on September 28, 2013.