Dramatic 2013 closes-A A +A
Tuesday, December 31, 2013
WHAT seemed to be a smooth season turned out to be a dramatic one for the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi).
On the hard court, the season proved to be a best-selling one with the resurgence of the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers back to the pedestal, where the league got the highest grade, but not in the courts of law.
In a yet to be decided injunction case, Cesafi has become a villain at least in the eyes of the Scott Aying and his parents and to RTC Branch 7 judge Simeon Dumdum Jr.
What was thought to be a dominant season turned out to be a nightmare for the defending champions Southwestern University (SWU) Cobras in its quest for a back-to-back Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) Basketball title.
The addition of Mark Jayven Tallo, Fil-Canadian Adams Mohammed, Fil-Ams Francis Ortega and Melvin Holper, Cameroonians Landry Sanjo and Fabrice Siewe and the three guards from the University of San Carlos—Jabe Bautista, Mark Panerio and Nilton Otida made SWU championship caliber team.
They started the Cesafi Season 13 strong, winning all its assignments in the elimination, semifinal and up to the first two games of the championship series.
But instead of wrapping up strong and made history of sweeping all of its 15 games assignment of the season, the Cobras crumbled into pieces when their bitter rivals the University of the Visayas Green Lancers found a way to return and deal with the SWU in three straight games to win the Cesafi Season title.
However, SWU took their vengeance when they defeated UV in the Philippine Collegiate Champions League’s (PCCL) Southern Island Championship a month and 15 days after winning their 10th Cesafi title.
The victory gave the Cobras the ticket to the PCLL Final Four where they eventually finished second to UAAP champions De La Salle University Green Archers.
But UV’s misfortune was largely attributed to their lack of players especially the absence of Cameroonian Mike Harry Nzeusseu who abandoned his post after he was lured and enticed to play to play for a yet undisclosed Manila team.
Instead of marching towards their ultimate goal – that is the PCCL title, UV was left behind pondering on what to do with the rest of the team who played below par.
Meanwhile, to the eyes of the Ayings, Cesafi’s last minute decision to rule their son Scott ineligible to play for the University of San Carlos Baby Warriors because of the two year residency rule.
Danny and Avah Aying turned to the courts in hopes to reverse the decision of the Cesafi Board and allow their son to play in the season.
Judge Dumdum ordered Cesafi to let Aying play since it was his right.
However, Cesafi insisted that playing for Cesafi is not a right, but a privilege given to student-athletes who have met all the requirements set by the league.
Instead of heeding the decision of the judge, Cesafi contested the decision and asked the Court of Appeals to bar the lower courts from implementing its decision.
The lawsuit forced Cesafi to cancel the semifinal games of the high school division and eventually scrap the rest of the season since the issue is still pending in the CA.
With the tumultuous year ending, Cesafi is now looking forward to a better and bigger 2014 Season with some changes slowly taking place until the August opening.
Published in the Sun.Star Cebu newspaper on January 01, 2014.