Game 5 of Cesafi seniors finals slated tomorrow; UV dismayed but will show up for historic battleBy Jonas Panerio
Cebu Daily News
After much fuss and going back and forth, it can definitively be said: Game Five of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. men’s basketball tournament best-of-five finals series will be played tomorrow, 5:30 p.m., at the Cebu Coliseum.
In a day that saw two separate press conferences be done to address the issue surrounding the date of the final and deciding game, the battle lines were finally drawn but not without any protestation from the University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.
UV rued the decision of Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy to postpone the rubbermatch, which was originally scheduled for yesterday but was moved to tomorrow because the University of Cebu is using the venue for an event.
The Green Lancers showed their disdain at the development by showing up at the venue, in their uniforms at the designated time and ready to play, as promised by school president and Congressman Eddie Gullas.
“The decision to reschedule the championship Game 5 was arbitrary, and the basis lame, to say the least. As can be seen clearly in the attached original schedule, a championship Game 5, if necessary, is to be played on Oct. 4. That the rescheduling was due, as you said, to a conflict in schedules at the venue does not speak well of the organizational aspects of the league. And it does not help that in a prior instance when a similar conflict in schedule occurred; the scheduled game was still played at a different venue. Why this time should be any different we can only leave to speculation,” UV vice president for finance and administration Gerald Anthony Gullas said in a letter addressed to the commissioner.
Earlier in the day, Tiukinhoy had his press conference at the University of San Jose-Recoletos campus—the league’s host this season—to announce the date of the much-anticipated game and to defend his decision. He was joined at the said event by the tournament’s deputy commissioner Danny Duran.
“We have always been discussing the schedule and it is the prerogative of the commissioner to decide on that. The Board of Trustees gave me that authority. If ever there is any malicious intent on our part, then we shouldn’t stay a minute longer in our positions. Nobody can accuse us of giving preference to one team,” said Tiukinhoy.
However, the commissioner’s assurances did not stop the UV administration from expressing their frustrations at the decision.
“The University of the Visayas Green Lancers will play the championship game against the Southwestern University Cobras on the new playdate that you scheduled. But while we can assure you that UV will be playing with its usual pride and dedication, which the university is known for throughout its sporting history, it will also be playing with a heavy heart,” added Gullas in the letter.
SWU officials, in particular, head coach Raul “Yayoy” Alcoseba and athletic director Ryan Aznar were also baffled with the change in schedule as they were also ready to go to way yesterday but ultimately agreed with it, saying that both teams will benefit from having enough time to rest and prepare for the winner-take-all encounter tomorrow.