After a two-year break due to the pandemic, football action in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. finally returns on Nov. 5, at the Cebu City Sports Center.
Defending champion University of San Carlos (USC) will be gunning for its ninth overall and fifth straight crown and this season and will open its campaign against many-time finalist University of Southern Philippines (USPF) at 3 p.m., while the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R), which leads the league with nine titles, faces two-time champion University of Cebu (UC). In the high school division, 2019 champion Don Bosco Technology Center opens its title defense against USC, while Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu faces USJ-R in the opener.
Tournament director Francis Ramirez said the tournament will follow the league-type, double round-robin format with the top two advancing to the finals and the bottom two playing for third.
However, if a team sweeps all its elimination round matches, it will be automatically crowned the champion, with the next two ranked teams battling for second.
It’s going to be an incentive for the team that wins all its games. Every game this year will be a championship game, no team will take it easy.Tournament manager Francis Ramirez on Cesafi format.
There are only four teams in each division this year, down from the usual five in college and six in high school. Former champion University of the Visayas skipped this year’s tournament, while USPF is skipping the high school contest along with 2019 guest team Sisters of Mary School-Boystown.
USJ-R still has the most titles at nine despite not having won any in the last nine years. The Jaguars owns the distinction as the only team to have achieved a four-peat (2001-2004), a three-peat (2007-2009), and a double (2012, and 2013). USC is next with eight crowns, having won the last four titles and the 2006, 2011, and 2014 editions. UC has two in 2010 and 2015, while UV won its lone crown when it ended USJ-R’s run in 2005. (Will be compiling a list of high school champions soon.)