CESAFI players can now bypass one-year residency

CEBU CITY, Philippines – The one-year residency rule can now be bypassed beginning in the 17th season of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc (CESAFI), which opens Saturday, August 5 at the Cebu Coliseum in downtown Cebu City.

Student-athletes, either in high school or college, who transfer to another member school’s varsity team can opt not to serve a one-year residency, which means they can play for their new team immediately this season.

However, they can only do so if they secure a document or a release form signed by the school president or at the very least the athletic director clearly stating that they do not need to serve the one-year residency. This, aside from the release papers which will include their school records.

Among those who have transferred this year are Gileant Delator and Melvin Botuhan, both former members of the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters, who have transferred to the reigning CESAFI champion University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers.

Also, to address the establishment of a Senior high hchool, a senior high school student-athlete whose age is beyond the age limit cut-off for the high school division can play in the collegiate division of the school where he/she is enrolled.

The cut-off age for the high school division is those born in 1999, while for college the cut-off age is those born in 1992. 

The senior high school student-athlete’s academic requirements will be the same as that of those in the high school division which means that he/she must be taking all the subjects for his/her grade level instead of the 15 units for college student-athletes.

Basketball format

Following the controversy that erupted during last year’s semifinal rounds of competition, the CESAFI have also decided to change the format.

The college eliminations will still follow a double round robin format but the team who sweeps its elimination games will get an automatic entry into the finals. This is the same for high school, except that they will have a single round robin elimination format.

If no team will be able to sweep their elimination games, then the top 4 teams will advance into the semifinals with the first and second teams enjoying a twice-to-beat advantage. The top seed will faceoff with the fourth and the second seed will go against the third.

However, if there is a team which gets an automatic entry into the finals, then the third and fourth teams will face each other in a knockout game with the winner earning the right to face the top two teams with twice-to-beat advantage.

The college division will have 7 teams. Aside from UV Green Lancers and the UC Webmasters, there’s the first runner-up University of San Carlos (USC) Warriors, Southwestern University (SWU) Phinma Cobras, University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R) Jaguars, University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF) Panthers and the Cebu Institute of Technology University (CITU) Wildcats.

The high school, on the other hand, will have 10 teams. Reigning high school champions Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu (SHS-AdC) Magis Eagles, first runner-up UC Baby Webmasters, UV Baby Lancers, USC Baby Warriors, SWU-Phinma Baby Cobras, USJ-R Baby Jaguars, USPF Baby Panthers, CITU Wildkittens, Cebu Eastern College (CEC) Dragons and the Don Bosco (DB) Greywolves.

A new sporting event has also been added this season. Futsal games will now be contested although it will still serve as a demo event. The sport will only have a women's division for high school and college players.

The CESAFI decided to add the sport because futsal is one of the fast-growing sports for women. It has also been a regular sports in the intramurals of most CESAFI schools. Initial schools that have committed to join are USC, USJ-R, Cebu Doctors University (CDU) and SHS-Ateneo.

Aside from the main event of basketball, also to be contested are football, athletics, chess, swimming, table tennis, lawn tennis, volleyball and beach volleyball.   

For basketball, deadline of submission for lineup and other important documents will be on July 14, while deadline for the rest of the other sports events is August 15.

The CESAFI will also be holding a workshop for referees and coaches from July 21 to 23– Rappler.com