CEBU CITY, Philippines – For the first time, the rest of the Philippines will get to see the basketball action in the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI), the inter-school basketball league which has produced many stars of the Philippine Basketball League (PBA).
CESAFI has forged a partnership with the IBC network, which will air the main games of each play date over channel 13 in prime time the day after.
“Before, we only used to hear about June Mar Fajardo and Greg Slaughter prior to seeing them in the PBA. Now, people nationwide will be able to see the calibre of these CESAFI players before they join the big leagues. They will be able to see the fiercely intense basketball competition, which is key to the success of the CESAFI,” said Ronnie Nathanielsz, who will be part of the TV crew.
(READ: CESAFI and its reputation for basketball excellence)
The announcement was made during the launch of the 2015 basketball season of the CESAFI at the Parklane International Hotel in Cebu City on Wednesday, July 29.
Aside from IBC Network, the CESAFI has also forged a partnership with Viva Sports for production and marketing.
In a statement, CESAFI Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. said has desired to take the games national since becoming commissioner of the sports association nearly two decades ago.
“The CESAFI richly deserves this meaningful tie-up not only for being one of the longest-existing inter-school leagues in the country, but also for its unflinching commitment to provide the Cebuanos classic and highly entertaining hardcourt action through the years. Since its inception several decades ago, the CESAFI has been the breeding ground of some of the country’s hoop stars in the mold of Julian Macoy, [Ramon] Fernandez, Abet Guidaben, Manny Paner, Elmer Cabahug, and Al Solis of the olden days and the present crop of PBA talents in JuneMar Fajardo, Greg Slaughter, Dondon Hontiveros and Brian Heruela to name a few.
“It’s about high time that the CESAFI will be made known and accessible to fans across the country through Viva being its TV partner,” Tiukinhoy said.
The CESAFI commissioner added that he is grateful that Viva lent them a helping hand.
“I look forward to a long-term deal deal with Viva TV as this breakthrough undertaking will surely be a big boost to the growth and development of the CESAFI that takes pride for being the most storied and respectable basketball league outside of Metro Manila,” Tiukinhoy further added.
Nathanielsz says he is impressed with the hoopsters coming from the Visayas, where he believes the future lies.
“Basketball is too centered around Manila and the television coverage will prove them wrong. The best basketball players come from the collegiate leagues of Cebu and they are the stars of the PBA,” Nathanielsz said.
Aside from Tiukinhoy, also in attendance during the press launching were CESAFI president Father Manny Uy, S.J., IBC 13’s Lito Cruz, Viva’s Vincent del Rosario, representatives from Smart Communications, a CESAFI partner for a couple of years now, and the coaches of all participating teams in the collegiate and secondary divisions.
Also presented during the press launching were the candidates for Ms. CESAFI 2015 collegiate division.
The 2015 basketball season will open this Saturday, Aug. 1 at 1 pm at Cebu Coliseum located in downtown Cebu City.
New PBA Commissioner Chito Narvasa will be on hand as a special guest. Fajardo, a two-time PBA MVP, will also be present to receive a special award for his exemplary achievements so far in the sport of basketball.
The opening ceremonies will start with the usual parade of participating teams to be followed by the choosing of the Ms. CESAFI for collegiate and secondary divisions and a demonstration of different dances by each participating school.
Two games will be played, one each for the secondary and the collegiate, pitting teams from the University of Cebu (UC) and University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R). – Rappler.com
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