Cesafi takes first step in new direction

Eighteen months after it stunned the sports scene as the first to announce the cancellation of the season due to the pandemic, the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. finally returns with a bang on Oct. 15 with its centerpiece basketball event kicking off at the Cebu Coliseum.

The Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U) Wildcats will face the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) in the college division, while guest team City of Bogo Science and Arts Academy takes on Cebu Eastern College in the high school level.

RETURN. Some teams may be sitting out this season, but Cesafi will have a major new partner in basketball patron Chooks-to-Go.

The opening kickoff ends a testy two-year period that began when Cesafi Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy announced the cancellation of the 2020 season due to Covid. Then, he said he sees the league returning if a vaccine is developed.

A year later, vaccines were already available but government protocols and rising Covid cases meant there were still restrictions on mass gatherings. However, a series of successful bubble tournaments—both pros and amateurs—finally had the government easing restrictions.

However, Cesafi’s comeback isn’t a return to normalcy, but a bold step in a new direction with new partners and some familiar faces gone as some schools were forced to drop some programs in an effort to tighten belts.

This year too marks Cesafi’s partnership with Chooks-to-Go, which recently hosted the Fiba 3×3 in Cebu featuring one of Cesafi’s most famous products, Mark Tallo.

Tiukinhoy, the long-serving commissioner of the league since its inception, sees Chooks-to-Go’s entry as a game-changer for the league as it means proper promotion not just for basketball but other marque events like volleyball, a growing crowd favorite, and football.

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