Limpag: Gabuya’s ordinance

Mike T. Limpag

THOUGH I see a potential conflict of interest, I’m hopeful that Councilor Eugenio Gabuya’s ordinance that will have sports organizations and clubs based in Cebu City registered will have a positive impact in the long run. Heck, I even think that should it be as successful as I think it would be, it would be copied by other local government units.

In a perfect sports setup, there would have been no need for this as the regional offices of the national sports associations should be able to stand on their own but in the current setup, it is only the Central Visayas Football Association, formerly the Cebu Football Association, that does that.

Let’s start with the two most popular sports in the country, basketball and volleyball. Their governing bodies are the Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas and the Samahang Volleyball ng Pilipinas. SBP has a local counterpart, while SVP doesn’t. (If it does, I haven’t heard of it functioning.) We know that the SBP is primarily focused on Gilas Pilipinas and has left regional tournaments to other private groups, though it does organize coaching clinics.

On the other hand, SVP is so focused on Manila it has ignored the countryside.

What will Gabuya’s resolution do aside from giving them funds? For one, it will put the basketball community under one umbrella organization, under SBP Cebu if I may suggest and harmonize its calendar. Second, we can finally have a volleyball organization that will oversee development in the city. We have the Cebu Volleyball Association, revived to oversee the province’s Governor’s Cup, but I think it can be tapped for the City too as it is based in Cebu City.

How can one group oversee the myriad of schedules and developments? Sounds complicated?

Well, this is where football and the CVFA come in. For decades, CVFA has done for football what Gabuya wants done for Cebu City sports—harmonize the schedule, determine the top players and officials, and sanction erring players.

The last part really helps and is something that is unique. Sanctions in basketball don’t really work because a player can get punished for one tournament but will still be allowed to play in another because the organizers don’t belong to a single body.

In football, the CVFA can impose a CVFA-wide tournament, so it won’t matter if it’s a tournament in San Roque, Springdale or SunStar, as long as it’s a CVFA event, if you must serve a six-month ban, you will serve a six-month ban.

You can extend that under the Gabuya resolution, once he gets all sports organizations under one umbrella and that will make those who love to misbehave, behave.

Gabuya also wants to identify the referees and the CVFA has been doing that, requiring referees who have a certain license to officiate in certain levels and wouldn’t that be a good practice for the highly subjective world of basketball refereeing?

I think the first step, of course, is identifying the different Cebu City clubs and sports organizations but I hope the clubs and orgs will participate. Yes, you’ve done well on your own but I see nothing wrong about being part of a whole.

Gabuya’s ordinance is simply stepping into a void created by Manila-based national sports associations.