CESAFI 2023: Longer, more competitive season with new member schools joining the action
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Organizers promise a longer and more competitive 23rd season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) as 17 member schools vie for supremacy starting on Saturday, September 23, 2023, at the Cebu Coliseum.
The entire Cesafi season, specifically in basketball, is projected to last until the second week of December with the presence of the new member schools.
Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. assured Cebuano sports fans, especially those who follow Cesafi’s basketball tournament, of more exciting hardcourt action.
“Our deputy commissioners, were able to see to it, that the activities are in the best schedule. For example, in basketball, we’re going to finish on December 15, despite the fact that we have 11 teams in this sport,” said Tiukinhoy during the presser on Thursday, September 21, at the Cebu Country Club.
“As far as other sports, we have the venues and schedules already. I think, we’re going to have a full schedule of sports events throughout this year,” he added.
Joining Tiukinhoy during the presser were Atty. Boyet Velez, Danny Duran, Dr. Danilo Villadolid, and Catherine Vestil, the Cesafi deputy commissioners.
Also in attendance was Cesafi president Atty. Paulino A. Yabao and representatives from Smart Communications and Chooks-to-Go which are the main sponsors of the Cesafi.
Earlier this year, Cesafi introduced three new Cesafi member schools in Felipe R. Verallo Memorial College, the Cebu Roosevelt Memorial Colleges, and Benedicto College.
In addition, the University of the Philippines (UP) Cebu will be competing full swing after making its debut last year with fewer sports.
Also, the Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras will return after missing last season’s competition.
The centerpiece of Cesafi, the basketball event, will kick off right after the opening ceremonies on Saturday featuring the Verallo and Roosevelt Colleges in the college division at 5:30 p.m., while DBTC and Cebu Eastern College will provide the opening game at 4 p.m.
UV TO GO ALL-OUT
The college division basketball defending champions, the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers vowed to give their all as long as they stay healthy throughout the season.
“As the defending champion, our success will depend on how our players will perform and of course, how our opponents will also play. As long as we stay healthy, the team will really put up a good fight,” said the Green Lancers’ multi-titled head coach Gary Cortes.
Cortes towed UV to six Cesafi finals appearance and won the team four titles, including a rare three-peat.
Meanwhile, the high school division champion in basketball, Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC), will lead the cast of usual contenders.
OUT TO IMPRESS
Besides UV, the new Cesafi member schools also promise to give their all in their debut games.
“We will give our very best. We prepared a lot knowing that this is not going to be an easy journey going up against the big teams. We will see what will happen but definitely, we also prepared hard for this,” said CRMC coach Alelu Flores.
This year’s Cesafi theme, “Eyes on the Gold, Green is the Goal” advocates a greener approach on the league by banning single use plastic at all of its playing venues throughout the season.
This will be done in partnership with the Philippine Earth Justice Center, Inc. headed by environmental advocate Niña Marie Estenzo.
All Cesafi member schools in all of its 18 sports events are encouraged to bring their own reusable water bottles and tumblers instead of the typical single use plastic bottles this season.
On the other hand, the opening ceremony of the Cesafi 2023 Season on Saturday will highlight the Miss Cesafi 2023 in both the college and high school division featuring the fairest contestants vying for this year’s title.
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