Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Thursday, September 07, 2006 issue
by Marian C. Baring, Correspondent
Can the University of the Visayas win the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) football championship again now that four of its players are barred from joining the year’s season, which is set to open at the Cebu City Sports Center today?
UV, which ousted four-time defending champion University of San Jose-Recoletos last year, lost key defenders in former Carmen National School booters Josaphat Sacil and Ivan Dimco as well as Dominic Villamor and Freddie Rica.
The four are among the 18 players barred by tournament director and Cebu Football Association president Jonathan Maximo for failing to pass Cesafi eligibility requirements.
Maximo refused to give the names of the 18 players, but Sun.Star got a few names from other sources.
Under Cesafi rules, athletes need to be enrolled in school in order to play. They must take up at least 14 academic units and pass a majority of their subject .
The maximum age of an athlete is 25 years by June 30.
Of the 18, six can still play this year once they get authenticated documents from the National Statistics Office. The rest, however, will have to sit this season out.
UV head coach Eddie Buot said that with the loss of some first stringers, he will be banking on the holdovers, Frederick Alazas, Junard Aguilar and Julius Acre. He also intends to lean on newcomer Benjor Gomora to man the defense. Aguilar is one of the top strikers in Cesafi while Alazas is excellent both as a field player and as a goalkeeper.
For his part, Maximo said they are implementing stricter rules as directed by the new officials of Cesafi.
“We have been given specific instructions to implement the rules and regulations to the fullest,” said Maximo.
The University of Southern Philippines-Foundation and USJ-R lost two players each to disqualification, while the University of San Carlos lost three .
One of the players USP-F lost was its trusted striker, Rene Menchavez, who has maximized his playing years in the Cesafi.
Today, Eleazar Toledo and the USP-F will face a tall order when it takes on USJ-R in the curtain raiser at 1 p.m., while USC will face the University of Cebu at 2:30 p.m.