Cebu sports scores big rebound in 2022
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Cebu sports was nothing short of spectacular after rebounding from the COVID-19 pandemic and super typhoon Odette in its “Comeback Year.”
After more than two years of inactivity due to health restrictions and the destruction left behind by the super howler, dozens of sports events sprung up in almost all corners of Cebu as local sports buffs finally got the chance to dive into action after a long lull.
And with the return of sports activities, Cebuano athletes were quick to stamp their class in both national and international competitions.
So, let’s take a look at some of the highlights of Cebu sports in 2022.
Outgoing CCSC Chairman Edward Hayco (left) passes the baton to incoming CCSC head John Pages. Last December 28, Hayco took his oath in Malacanang as one of the new commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission. | CDN FILE PHOTONew CCSC chair, new PSC Commissioner
In February 2022, renowned sportsman and businessman, John Pages succeeded long-time Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) chairman Edward Hayco.
Roughly a week later, Cebu City Mayor Mike Michael Rama signed Executive Order (EO) 163 during the 85th Charter Day, allowing the return of sports events in the city.
The EO encouraged sports organizers to bring back their regular sports events.
Hayco, having left an indelible mark as the top honcho of Cebu City sports, was appointed as one of the new commissioners of the Philippine Sports Commission (PSC) and took his oath last Wednesday, December 28, in Malacañang Palace, while still serving as CCSC’s chairman emeritus.
April marked the return of the oldest and biggest inter-school sports competition outside of Manila – the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi).
While featuring only a handful of events during its opening including a 3-point shootout and with the centerpiece basketball event prominently missing, league officials led by the indefatigable Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy assured Cebuano sports fans of a bigger opening in October as the April event was only a dry run. And Tiukinhoy didn’t disappoint as the premier inter-collegiate sports meet returned with a bang last October.
Cebu bets shine in SEA Games
In May, nine Cebuano athletes took a fair share of the medals harvested by the country in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in Hanoi, Vietnam.
Leading the Cebuano charge in the regional biennial sports enclave were cue artist Rubilen Amit who bagged two gold medals in women’s billiards, and Angelo Marquez, who won a gold medal in dancesport.
The rest of the Cebuano medalists were Alexis Sy-Chua (silver, bowling), Andrew Kim Remolino (silver, men’s triathlon), Raven Faith Alcoseba (bronze, women’s triathlon), Elreen Ando (silver, weightlifting), Wilbert Aunzo and Pearl Marie Caneda (silver, two bronzes dancesport), and Lois Kaye Go (bronze, golf).
CVFA returns at the national level
For many reasons, the Central Visayas Football Association (CVFA) may be the busiest group this year.
One, CVFA hosted Philippine Football Federation’s (PFF) U-19 Visayas leg, which they also ruled at the Cebu City Sports Center (CCSC) pitch. They went on to finish as runners-up in the PFF National Group Stage, which put back Central Visayas, particularly Cebu, at the national level.
CVFA also co-organized the Palarong Pambansa football bubble at the CCSC along with the national office of the Department of Education (DepEd).
The football bubble tournament was one of the two sports events brought by DepEd for its bubble tournament. The other was boxing, held at the same venue in partnership with Pages’ CCSC and the Cebu City LGU.
In addition, CVFA and Cebu Football Club also forged a partnership to strengthen their ties in grassroots and other aspects of the sport.
PADS stamps class in Florida
Besides the SEA Games, the Philippine Accessible Disability Services, Inc. (PADS) Dragon Boat Team bagged four gold medals in the International Dragon Boat Federation’s (IDBF) 13th Club Crew World Championships in Sarasota, Florida, last July.
The team topped the para dragon boat category’s 2,000-meter small boat PD2 category, the small boat PD1 and PD2 200m races, and the 500m small boat PD2 category.
Ironman 70.3 is back
Last August 7, a total of 1,928 triathletes from 46 countries competed in the Megaworld Cebu Ironman 70.3 Philippines held at the Mactan Newtown in Lapu-Lapu City.
The international triathlon race, which has been held in Cebu since 2012, greeted triathletes with plenty of changes in view of the COVID-19 restrictions. One is the race’s new venue from the usual Shangri-La’s Mactan Resort and Spa.
The biggest highlight of the race was undoubtedly the 90-kilometer bike course which let triathletes experience the country’s longest bridge, the 8-kilometer Cebu–Cordova Link Expressway.
PSL’s 21-U invades Cebu
One of the biggest basketball tournaments that hit Cebu this year was the Pilipinas Super League (PSL) 21-U which was held in various venues around the island.
The finals featured Cebu’s very own Consolacion Sarok Weavers against the visiting Pampanga Deltas, with the latter winning the inaugural crown last September.
The league featured over a dozen teams from all over the country.
World-class 3×3 basketball at SM Seaside
Speaking of basketball, Cebuano fans were treated to a world-class 3×3 basketball event when Chooks-to-Go hosted the 2022 Chooks-to-Go FIBA 3×3 World Tour Cebu Masters at the SM Seaside City Cebu.
Olympic gold medalists Riga of Latvia ruled the cash-rich international 3×3 tournament. While Cebu Chooks and Manila Chooks were booted out early, this did not dampen the spirit of the local fans who continued to fill the venue up to the final game of the 4-day tournament.
Cebu FC makes its presence felt in the PFL
The Cebu Football Club Gentle Giants put on a great show in their first full season of the Philippines Football League (PFL).
This was after Cebu FC took the No. 1 spot in the standings at some point after racking up wins in the league.
Cebu FC also utilized its home pitch, the Dynamic Herb-Borromeo sports complex at SRP during its home matches that drew over a thousand Cebuano football fans.
However, the Cebuano booters dropped to the No. 3 spot before the league took a break due to back-to-back home game cancellations.
William Go bags major int’l karting title
A young Cebuano karter hogged the international sports headlines when 14-year-old William John Riley Go ruled the ROK Superfinal 2022 at the South Garda Karting in Lonato, Italy, last October 23, 2022.
It was a historic feat for Go as he became the first Filipino ever to win the race.
Malilay sisters are BJJ world champs
The Malilay sisters of Cebu, Eliecha Zoey, and Ellise Xoe, won the gold medal in their respective categories in the 4th Abu Dhabi World Youth Jiu-Jitsu Championships last November in Abu Dhabi, the UAE.
The 17-year-old Eliecha Zoey dominated the youth women’s gi blue-belt 40-kilogram division, while 15-year-old Ellise Xoe ruled the girls gi teen yellow-belt 40kg division, making both sisters the first Cebuana BJJ world champs.
Green Lancers, Magis Eagles rule Cesafi hoop wars
The University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers swept the men’s finals of the Cesafi basketball tournament against the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters last December 15, 2022, at the Cebu Coliseum.
They beat the Webmasters twice in their Best-of-Three finals.
Meanwhile, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu Magis Eagles (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles topped the high school division by sweeping their Best-of-Three finals showdown against the newcomers, City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy (CBSAA) Trailblazers.
In Cesafi’s other sports, the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Lady Jaguars and the Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats topped the women’s and men’s volleyball, respectively.
On the other hand, the University of Southern Philippines-Foundation (USP-F) Baby Panthers and the SHS-AdC ruled the boys’ and girls’ divisions, respectively.
In football, the University of San Carlos (USC) topped the men’s competition and the Don Bosco Technology Center ruled the high school category. /rcg
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