USC cager asks Cesafi: Let me play this season

A HIGH school basketball player has asked the court to stop the Cebu School Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) from barring him from playing this season.

University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors power forward Scott Aying, 15, and his parents Danilo and Avah Michelle Aying filed a petition for injunction with prayer for a temporary restraining order and issuance of a preliminary mandatory injunction with damages.

He asked the court to allow him to play starting yesterday. The second roundrobin semifinal matches are being held this week.

Cesafi president Fr. Manny Uy, Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr., and screening committee members Jess Himotas and Danny Duran were named respondents in the civil case.

Sun.Star Cebu called Tiukinhoy to get his comment, but he said that Cesafiís lawyer, Baldomero Estenzo, will speak for the group regarding the issue. Calls made to Estenzoís phone, however, were not answered.


The Ayings are assisted by their lawyer, Donato Gonzalez, who said the boy has the right to join the league because he was previously cleared to play.

They also asked for P50,000 in moral damages from the respondents.

Last August 2, a day before the opening of the basketball tournament, the USC college team received a letter from the screening committee stating that Scott was disqualified to play for lack of residency.

ìThis ruling made by Cesafi is without any hearing nor was there observance of due process as petitioner, or the USCBED (Basic Education Department), was not given ample time to explain its side,î the petition read.

Cesafiís rule states: "Any high school student athlete of a Cesafi member school who transfers to another member school shall be required a minimum of two-year residence to qualify to play. The period of residency shall be counted as part of his/her playing years."

Gonzales said the rule does not apply to his client because the student transferred from Don Bosco Technology Center, a Cesafi member, to San Beda College in Manila.

'Not applicable'

"This is basically why, when any student coming from a non-Cesafi school would come forward to play as an athlete in a Cesafi member-school he or she is currently enrolled in, he or she can join right away," he said.

The two-year residency rule for a student athlete of a Cesafi member school who transfers to a non-member Cesafi school reportedly applies only to college student athletes. San Beda is not a member of Cesafi, but of the National Collegiate Athletics Association (NCAA).

Last Aug. 3, Baby Warriors coach Britt Carlo Reroma called Scott to play during his team's first match against the University of the Visayas (UV).

Tiukinhoy allegedly stood from his seat and went to the teamís bench. He told them the game will be forfeited if Scott plays.

"After the child was humiliated in public, he was bullied by most of his peers which resulted in his loss of interest in his studies. Herein minor petitioner almost always locks himself in his room and refuses to talk even to his mother. Worse, the trauma experienced by minor petitioner has already become evident in his acts of being aloof and overly sensitive at times, traits he never seemed to possess before," the petition read. (KAL)

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