WHEN I first got into sportswriting and started covering the college beat close to two decades ago, one of the curious things I learned was that Cebu Doctors’ College--now Cebu Doctors’ University--was a sleeping giant when it came to college sports.
The explanation was simple. Some of the best swimmers, runners, footballers, volleyball players or what have you from high school pursue their college degree at CDU. And it’s not just the Cebu athletes, some of Mindanao’s best, too, end up at CDU.
More than a decade ago, I remember two of the Philippines best youth footballers (the Philippines’ best, not Cebu’s best, mind you) ended up at CDU. One is now a doctor, while the other made the Azkas. I hoped, then, that they could have kickstarted a football program for CDU, but then, just like now, sports isn’t a priority for CDU.
Which is a pity. I believe it’s all because of CDU’s image and strength. Known for its success in courses related to medicine, high school students, including those who would have earned athletic scholarship in other schools, choose CDU. The school doesn’t need an athletic program to attract students. Students go to them.
Right now, you can barely hear about CDU’s involvement in Cebu sports. In fact, I think you’ll be most likely to read about Doc Yong’s latest marathon than say an athletic achievement of a CDU student.
But I hope that will change. I hope CDU will experience a St. Theresa’s College (STC) type of conversion. More than a decade ago, you’d barely hear of any sports programs from STC. In fact, I learned it was even frowned upon.
However, a few brave souls started a football program that was at first outside the school’s radar. When the school admin finally embraced it and supported the program, it transformed it. Now, STC has one of the best football programs in the country—not just in Cebu—and has produced a few players who have made it all the way to the national team.
I know, too, that coaches in Manila are trying to get the STC players to their college teams and begin contacting the coach as early as the sophomore year of the players. That’s how good the program has become.
I believe that CDU can become that and not just in one sport. I hope someday the sleeping giant will wake up.