Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (http://www.sunstar.com.ph/)
Thursday, October 30, 2008 issue
by Edri K. Aznar, Staff Reporter
by Edri K. Aznar, Staff Reporter
Mike Limpag, Sports Editor
THERE will be more tournaments for college football varsities as the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) is set to start another event in January.
Since the start of the Cesafi it only put up a single football competition in a year, but with the proposed Partners Cup Under-23 football tournament by Cesafi football tournament manager Jonathan Maximo, the year 2009 will start out strong for football.
Maximo submitted a project proposal early in the 2008 Cesafi football season to the Cesafi committee to start a Partners Cup contest and the board approved it during their meeting last Thursday.
“The 2008 football season has received a number of positive feedbacks such as more teams joining, better media coverage, innovative match analysis, more fan interaction and on-line presence through www.pabolfc.com. So if it is doing well, why not do more? This will give justice to the school’s varsity scholarship program as well as to the players who will gain more exposure and experience,” Maximo said in an e-mailed statement.
However, the schedule of the games is still tentative as they are still searching for willing sponsors to help them out in the tournament.
“The target is January 2009, after the regular 2008 Cesafi football season. But this will depend how soon we can tap the corporate sponsors,” he said.
This tournament will follow the Partner’s Cup basketball set up, wherein a school will be paired with a corporation.
“This is the more challenging part. The plan is to have the Partner’s Cup format similar to basketball. We are now in the process of identifying probable partners,” said Maximo.
Part of the tournament’s goal is to train Under 23 athletes so they will have an opportunity to be able to be part of the Philippine national squad.
“Let’s be innovative. Let’s offer another type of tournament different from the current set-up. The U-23 is actually a dream… to be able to see more Cebuano athletes playing for the National Team. Specifically, we are aiming the 2009 Southeast Asian (SEA) Games in Laos. Currently, I don’t hear of any football program or tournament that prepares our athletes for the SEA games. We have to take the initiative, and it will be in Cebu. Now if you talk of players 23 years old and younger, you can find them in the colleges. This makes the Cesafi the right organization to be tapped,” said Maximo.
Maximo has already named five teams for the tournament and these are Cesafi defending champions University of San Jose-Recoletos, University of San Carlos, University of Southern Philippines Foundation, University of the Visayas and the University of Cebu. He also said that the tournament will be longer and more exciting with a double-round robin format and he will be asking for the endorsement of different government agencies and organizations for this competition.
Meanwhile, USC head coach Gary Pangsagan believes that the plan of Maximo will benefit the collegiate teams.
“It’s a good program by Maximo. Our collegiate teams will have more exposure and will have a chance to be scouted and join the National team training pool. It can also be a preparation tournament for the Prisaa,” said University of San Carlos head coach Gary Panagsagan. (EKA)