Wednesday, October 29, 2008


Courtesy of Sun Star Newspaper (
Wednesday, October 29, 2008 issue
by Mike T. Limpag, Columnist - Fair Play

WHEN I learned Visayas Amateur Athletic Association (VAAA) founder Councilor Yayoy Alcoseba said that Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy’s pressure on the school owners was the reason behind the 6-1 vote on Cesafi schools not joining the VAAA, my first thought was LFS, Anakbayan and NUSP members should forget the rallies and boycotts.

If they want to change school policies, they only have to contact Tiukinhoy. It seems he is that powerful among Cebu schools. If he can make six school owners vote his way, telling schools to lower their tuition or miscellaneous fees should be a walk in the park for him.

Alcoseba has every right to be pissed. With the ban, his pet project, the VAAA, just lost its biggest draw. But then again, in the flip side of the coin, the Cesafi also has all the rights to be pissed. How can the organization put up another tournament if its members are flirting with another league?

The Cesafi, after its regular season, wants another tournament to sustain the interest, while the VAAA also wants to ride on that interest and wants Cesafi teams to join its event. Since the Cesafi is forced to protect its “cake,” VAAA is crying foul, “Hey, we want a piece, too!’’

Curiously, or sadly, all this brouhaha wouldn’t have happened had Cesafi functioned the way other ordinary school-based leagues function, they hold one tournament a year and they’re done.

But because Cesafi went a step further, and decided to hold a post-season tournament for basketball, and wants to protect that tournament, the commissioner gets accused of being divisive and against the growth of basketball and—here’s my favorite—the school owners are depicted as cowards who dance to the tune of a mere commish.

Unless it includes a date with Maria Sharapova, a million pesos won’t make me trade places with Tiukinhoy right now. As a commissioner, he’s supposed to protect the Cesafi, and not to be the Knight in Shining Armor for Cebu basketball, which isn’t exactly a damsel in distress. But any step he takes for Cesafi is perceived as “against Cebu basketball.”

Here’s a crazy suggestion for an end of all this brouhaha. Since Cesafi is for Cebu (or at least the Cebu schools associated with it) and the VAAA is “a developmental league” for the Visayas, let the two groups respect each other’s “family.”

Let the Cesafi take care and develop programs for its own members, and let VAAA take care of the rest of the Visayas, you can throw in the other Cebu-based schools who are not members of Cesafi. If the Cesafi doesn’t have any second semester program for its members, then that’s the time for VAAA to be the Knight in Shining Armor.

Otherwise, to each his own.

Oh well, that’s just a thought. Let’s leave basketball to its own mess shall we?

Aside from that 6-1 vote, sources say the Cesafi board also approved a plan to hold a post-season tournament for football ala Partners Cup.

The plan for a post-season football tournament, I was told, was because Cesafi was elated with how the collegiate event was ran and how it got publicity, which is quite a victory considering how the Cesafi season coincides with the Aboitiz Football Cup.

Judging from the interaction in the, the website for Cesafi football, fans are closely following the action, while the players are happy that aside from the traditional media, Cesafi football has cemented a presence in the internet.

I hope, this time around, the Cesafi will provide beta carotene for the officials, I hear it does wonder for one’s eyesight.


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