Cesafi to get national TV coverage

WHEN Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) behemoths June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter locked horns in the collegiate ranks, only the Cebuano basketball fans were witnesses to the colossal match-up then because Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) games weren’t shown on national TV.

Now, future basketball stars in this part of the country will be showcased nationwide before they reach the pinnacle of Philippine basketball, the PBA, as Viva Sports will be airing Cesafi basketball games starting this season on free TV through IBC 13.

u201cMost stars of the PBA come from Cebu leagues. Cesafi is the home of future stars of Philippine basketball. It’s a tremendous opportunity for players not only to showcase their skill but also their discipline. We have helped the PBA grow and we plan to do even better in the Cesafi,” said Viva Sports’ Ronnie Nathanielsz, who is here in Cebu with Viva executive vice-president Vincent Del Rosario and IBC 13 station manager Lito Cruz, in yesterday’s press conference at the Parklane Hotel.

Nathanielsz believes that although the limelight is always centered on Manila collegiate leagues like the UAAP and the NCAA, some of the best talents in the PBA were produced in the “Queen City of the South” – the likes of Fajardo, Slaughter, Mon Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Al Solis and Dondon Hontiveros.

u201cWe hope this partnership will last forever and a day,” said Nathanielsz. “Certainly the talent and the skills are there. Without a question we will see superstars in the making. It is always centered in Manila but it’s time to prove them wrong.”

The TV coverage will be focused mainly on basketball, specifically the collegiate ranks. However, important high school matches will also be shown on TV. Games will be aired the day after on prime-time TV on IBC 13.

For now, only basketball games will be televised but there’s a plan to show other sports in the Cesafi like the fast growing sport of football and volleyball.

u201cYes but we have to establish a basketball and a sound fundamental audience before moving on to women’s volleyball and football,” said Nathanielsz.

The 15th Cesafi season kicks off this Saturday with two basketball games, a seniors division match between University of Cebu and University of San Jose-Recoletos and juniors division game also between both schools.

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