Cesafi final four: USC in, USJ-R out

By: Glendale G. Rosal - CDN Digital Correspondent | December 01,2023 - 03:31 PM

USJ-R’s EJ Agbong grabs a rebound during their game in the Cesafi against the UV Green Lancers.

USJ-R’s EJ Agbong grabs a rebound during their game in the Cesafi against the UV Green Lancers. | File photo courtesy of Sugbuanong Kodaker

CEBU CITY, Philippines — The Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (Cesafi) has dropped the hammer on embattled University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars player Evan Jose “EJ” Agbong. 

Cesafi officials announced on Friday, December 1, 2023, that all the games played by Agbong are forfeited in the men’s basketball tournament.

Cesafi made the announcement in a written statement signed by Cesafi Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy. 

This means that USJ-R will be booted out from the men’s basketball tournament’s final four which will start on December 5, 2023. 

From their record of seven wins and three defeats in the eliminations, the Jaguars dropped to the No. 6 spot of the team standings after three of their wins were forfeited by the Cesafi officials. 

The Jaguars now have a 4-6 (win-loss) record.

Cesafi officials headed by Deputy Commissioner Atty. Boyet Velez conducted an investigation in October about Agbong’s  questionable records submitted to them by USJ-R. 

Agbong’s eligibility was questioned after the Cesafi discovered some discrepancies on his TOR submitted to the league’s Screening Committee prior to the start of the season.

Cesafi discovered that Agbong last attended the Liceo de Cagayan University, but a copy of his TOR submitted to the Cesafi Screening Committee mentioned that he came from the Jose Rizal University (JRU) before joining USJ-R.

Last month, Cesafi officials sought the help of the Commission on Higher Education (CHED) to secure the TOR of Agbong from Liceo de Cagayan University. 

“After conducting a thorough investigation on the eligibility of Evan Jose C. Agbong of USJ-R, we have found out that he is DISQUALIFIED from playing the CESAFI basketball tournament for failing to meet the eligibility requirement after we received his certified true copy  of the school-to-school Transcript of Record (TOR),” the Cesafi said in a statement. 

The Cesafi added that Agbong violated one of their ground rules and regulations, the sanction of which was the forfeiture of all the games that he played for USJ-R. 

“Pursuant to Rule V.2.2. of the Cesafi ground rules and regulations, USJ-R shall forfeit all the games won that Mr. Agbong played in favor of their opponent specifically. Their won games against the University of San Carlos, Southwestern University, and the Felipe R. Verallo Foundation College,” read part of the statement. 

With this, the USC Warriors which initially didn’t make it to the final four will now replace USJ-R as the fourth seed.

The Warriors  now have a 6-4 (win-loss) record to secure the last spot in the final four and will have the opportunity to face the top seed University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers in the December 3 semifinals. 

Meanwhile, the other semifinal pairing between the No. 2 team, the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, and the No. 3 University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers remain intact. 


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TAGS: basketball, Cesafi, USC Warriors, USJ-R Jaguars

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