LAST year, just like in previous years, I failed to watch live any of the exciting matches between Southwestern University and the University of the Visayas in the Cesafi finals, one that attracted a jam-packed crowd at the Cebu Coliseum.

But thanks to the livestreaming done by Sunnex, I managed to catch some of the action, including that deciding game when the Cobras mounted a furious comeback to erase an 18-point lead in the fourth quarter to win the title.

That experiment by Sunnex last year allowed thousands of fans overseas to follow their alma mater and I was told one fan, who was based on a cruise ship, asked for text updates during the finals as he was working at that time. Those text updates came via a chatbox Sunnex installed along with the video streaming.

Though a lot of people were logged in, the chatter was a bit mild, so I decided to join the action.

I logged in with two identities--one pro UV and the other pro SWU and started posting crazy but safe stuff. In one instance when a group of fans stood and partially blocked the view, I posted, “Hoy, Dodong, ayaw tabuni. Nagbayad ra ba mi.”

I think I got a slew of reactions when I posted, “Noy, kanang gabilgya’g mani diha, hatagi gud ning mga taga SWU diri kay nahilom man. Gutom na siguro.”

It was fun. And what made it more fun was when the fans joined in the discussion, siding with me as I “argued” and threw potshots at my other identity. Man I was laughing so hard that if any of the HR folks saw me that time, they’d probably order a fresh round of surprise drug tests for me.

One time, during a lull in the action, I wrote, “Pwede kung timeout i-zoom in sa sa mga chicks diha? Mingaw diri.”

And my other identity replied, “Ngano sa chicks ra man? Mga laki diay?”

This year, Sunnex will again stream all of the Cesafi basketball matches and the guys running the streaming have one year’s knowledge of how to do things a bit better.

The livestreaming will allow countless of Cesafi fans to support their alma mater and based on last year’s reception, there are really a lot of them.

So, “see” you in the Cesafi coverage!

By the way, this season, I like what the University of Cebu is doing. Unlike other schools, which are scrambling to get foreigners to boost their team, the school is fielding an all-local team. Baldomero Estenzo told Sun.Star Cebu that aside from putting their faith in the Cebuanos, they want them to get this rare chance of having the athletic scholarships, instead of giving them to foreigners.

And that makes sense. For a basketball-crazy nation, there’s no shortage of basketball players.

Though a lot of fans are rooting for another UV vs. SWU match-up, I’m hoping UC can play the spoilsport and get one of the finals slots. That would make things really interesting.

So, who do you think will win the Cesafi title this year? And if you make a nice argument, I’d publish your article in the paper.

(sports@sunstar.com.ph)