THIS year, Ceva will reportedly allow two imports per team to make the Gov. Garcia Unity Cup more livelier.

Some will undoubtedly laud this innovative move, while some, won’t.

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For me? I think it’s a step backward. I’m not a fan of imports.

Never have been. Color me blindly loyal but I’ve always believed that the Polomolok team should be made of players from Polomolok, not the best players money can buy.

Winning isn’t everything, sports leaders love to say. This thing about imports seem to negate that.

It reminds me of one champion team from Luzon, who won the national title in football a few years ago.

One of the officials said, “Wala ma nay ayo, puro man na import.”

He was right. None of the Laguna-based team could even speak Tagalog. They were all Ilonggos.

I know I’m exaggerating. What harm can two imports do to a team? Well, for starters, they take the spots of two homegrown talents.

Whether this move will be a hit or not is yet to be known.

But what is sure though, the fact that the organizers came up with this move means Ceva’s one dynamic group.

Despite five successful editions of the tournament, it still strives for improvement, and that’s how an event should be managed, right DepEd folks?

PERFECT TANDEM. It’s great to hear again from Glen Soco, who missed becoming Cebu’s vice governor by a whisker again. Glen said a few days ago he’s still willing to help Cebu sports and is waiting for sports groups to talk with him of their plans for Cebu sports.

That’s music to my ears.

I remember reading a few weeks back the Cebu Football Association is trying to become the FA for Cebu, and not just for Metro Cebu. That’s why among their plans for this year is to help spread football in the province.

CFA wants to hold clinics in towns and municipalities that need it, with the ultimate goal of putting up a GUV Cup-type football tournament.

This is where Glen can step in.

CFA has the people, but last I heard, not the resources. With the province’s backing and with Glen Soco’s experience, the CFA might just be able to pull it. And what a big kick for Cebu football that would be.

I’ve always believed—and said it out loud to whoever bothers to listen—the Unity Cup should be the blueprint of all tournaments. Sure it’s not perfect and you may say there’s politics behind it, but so far, I haven’t seen a better tournament, anywhere.

Having a Unity Cup for football is bliss.

What’s more, a CFA-Soco partnership doesn’t have to produce a champion team, getting into football can be life-changing in itself.

Glen only has to look at the Canduman Elementary School for inspiration.

This unassuming school in Mandaue has got one of the best—if not the best—grassroots program in the country. And that’s without government-backing!

Because of one coach’s determination, the kids there have a great future both in and outside the sport. I know a couple of the CES players already made the RP team and almost all of them are good enough to get a scholarship when they get to college.

And a diploma is better than that gold medal.

CES players were so good, and the coach was so determined, that when the first batch graduated, he managed to convince one high school to start a football program anchored on the CES alums. The setup allowed the players to still play together and get a private-school education at a discounted price.

That ain’t bad.

I sure hope the CFA and Glen can work together on this one.

(www.football.cebunetwork.com)