IN text messages, a phone call and email exchanges the past week, I interviewed Felix “Boy” Tiukinhoy, the man at the helm of Cebu’s interschool competition (for college and high school students) called the Cesafi. Spelled in full, it’s the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. Started in 2001, the nearly decade-long league will embrace this year’s theme of “Power and Dominance: The Quest for Cebu’s Collegiate Basketball Supremacy.” Here’s my Q & A with Cesafi commissioner Boy Tiukinhoy:

Updates on President Benigno Aquino III's presidency

When is the opening and what will be showcased? “This Saturday, July 31, starting at 1 p.m. at the Cebu Coliseum. There will be a Pasundayag Festival featuring dances originating from cities like Carcar, Mandaue, Danao and Cebu, as well as the municipalities of Bantayan, Liloan, Sibonga and Dumanjug. To perform are students from USP-F, USJ-R, Velez, CDU, SWU,UC, CIT and USC.

“There will be a parade of athletes. The Ms. CESAFI selection. After, we will have two basketball games: At 4:30 p.m., CEC plays SHS-J Ateneo (Juniors) and, at 6 p.m., the Seniors contest between USP-F and CIT.”

What’s new in 2010? “Cesafi will have its first fun run—3K and 5K—tentatively set on Aug. 21 to be participated in by about 10,000 students from the 12-member schools.

“I will also be putting up a website for basketball.

“The format for the semifinals (in basketball) will be round-robin among the top four teams instead of having the twice-to-beat format for the top two. In football, the website will provide information on game schedules and results, photos, news articles.

“Schedule? Games will run from July 31 to mid-October for basketball. For other sports events, from Aug. 21 to October.

For academic and cultural events, the months of November and December.”

Who are the Cesafi Officers and BOD? “President:Engr. Rolando Villa, USP-F; Vice President: Dr. Elsa Suralta, SWU; Secretary: Rev. Fr. Enrico Peter A. Silab, OAR, USJ-R; Treasurer: Fr. Dionisio M. Miranda, SVD, USC.

“Board of Directors:Atty. Augusto W. Go, UC; Engr. Gregorio Escario, CIT; Engr. Oscar Tuason, CDU; Dr. Jose Gullas, UV; Fr. Honesto G. Geronimo, SDB, DBTC; Atty. Teodoro Diez, Velez; Fr. Manuel Uy, SJ, SHS-Ateneo Cebu; Mr. Frederick Ong, Jr. CEC.”

What sports are offered this season? “There are 14. These are (with the tournament managers and venues): basketball– Danny Duran and Julian Macoy, Cebu Coliseum;

Athletics– Victor Yntig, Cebu City Sports Center; badminton– Ms. Lerma Binaoro, (to be decided); chess– Marvin Ruelan; dancesport- Victor Cuenco, E-Mall; Lawn tennis– Fritz Tabura, USC Tennis Court; karatedo– Manuel Aloba, USJ-R Gym; taekwondo– Tony Prado, USJ-R Gym; scrabble– Ms. Marsha Malbas, UV Function Room; sepak takraw--Marlon Gicain, UV Gym; football– Jonathan Maximo, USC-Talamban Football Field; swimming– Dr. Gil Ramas, CCSC; table tennis– Ms. Carmen Prado, CIT Gym; volleyball– Ceva, USC Gym; beach volleyball– Ceva.”

How different is Cesafi from the UAAP of Metro Manila? “UAAP teams are funded by the alumni whereas Cesafi teams are wholly-funded by the school. Cesafi also covers cultural and academic events while UAAP focuses on sports. UAAP games have TV and radio broadcasts; they also require their P.E. students to watch the games unlike Cesafi schools where we only encourage the students to watch.”

On the rule stating that, during the Cesafi season, players cannot join other leagues: “Cesafi did not relax the rules but continued to implement said rule. The rule was

rephrased to be clearly understood. Gray areas in the interpretation were cleared.”

On Greg Slaughter’s departure: “Definitely, the league will feel the loss of Greg as there will be no more one-on-one competition with Junmar Fajardo. However, the different teams are well-balanced… the competition will be anybody’s ballgame.

“As defending champion, UV will always be the team to beat. But UC will be giving UV a run for its 10th championship trophy!”