Limpag: Cesafi finals

Mike T. Limpag

ON NOV. 10, there’s going to be a new high school champion of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. as rivals Don Bosco Technical College (DBTC) and the University of San Jose-Recoletos (USJ-R) will face each other for the crown last won by the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu.

It’s a return trip to the finals for DBTC after missing out last season, while USJ-R is making its second straight finals after losing to Ateneo last year, thanks to a well-struck free kick by Leo Maquiling.

Both teams split their elimination round matches with DBTC winning in the first round and USJ-R returning the favor in the second round. Though that no longer plays a factor, that shows how even the two are.

Of course, the added factor when these two meet is the fact that most of the USJ-R players learned their football under the DBTC program before leaving two school years ago.

So the members of these two teams were basically teammates in their formative years and they know the ins and outs of each other’s game.

Motivation wise, there’s none lacking for both; for USJ-R, it’s the chance to win its first Cesafi crown after being a doormat for most of the time, including losing, 27-0, to DBTC three seasons ago.

For this current batch of DBTC players, it’s of course a chance to prove that they can win the Cesafi title anew and to do it against a team they basically looked at us older brothers for the past few years is special.

The interest is high in this final with both teams having their own sets of fans and supporters and of course, a certain demographic will also be turn being a fan of both teams.

While the competition will be tough, I hope it will be limited on the field and interaction between both groups will be cordial.

The college finals is also exciting with three-time champion University of San Carlos taking on the University of Cebu, the last two teams to win the college titles.

Just a little trivia, USC has been the only team to win under the new format, while UC was the last team to win it all under the old format. Being the champion, the pressure is on USC of course as I remember their athletic director telling their coach after last year’s three-peat to keep it for at least 10 years.

UC will do anything to end that run.

So, don’t miss Sunday’s matches.