Limpag: More futsal teams, please

Mike T. Limpag

NO surprise there, the University of San Carlos (USC) and the Sacred Heart School-Ateneo de Cebu won the college and high school division titles of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi).

USC kept the college title after going undefeated in the double-round Group stage, while Ateneo routed USC, 5-1, to win the high school crown. It’s interesting that this year is the first time there were two divisions in futsal, unlike last year when it had the college teams competing with the high school teams.

I saw a couple of matches during the first weekend and tournament director Francis Ramirez is confident more teams will sign up next year. This year, the college division had USC, the University of San Jose-Recoletos and Southwestern University (SWU-Phinma), while the high school teams were USC, Ateneo, the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USP-F), SWU-Phinma and the Sisters of Mary School-Girlstown.

I saw SWU-Phinma and USC match. I had fun watching the newcomers took the lead. Though it eventually lost, 15-2, SWU-Phinma showed it has some spunk and I hope the team keeps competing.

SWU-Phinma also fielded a team in the high school division and I saw the man behind the football program, Gilbert Braganza, though we didn’t get to talk. I’m really happy that SWU-Phinma is slowly rejoining the collegiate scene, considering its rich football history and its distinction as the last team to ever win the Cebu Amateur Athletic Association football crown.

How can we entice the rest of the Cesafi members—Cebu Doctors’ University (CDU), Velez College, University of the Visayas (UV) and Cebu Institute of Technology-University (CIT-U)—to form their own girls’ futsal teams? I don’t know, some, if not most, of these schools have futsal in their Intramurals and they can send their champions to the Cesafi tournament. It’s going to be a rough start I know, but given the right coach, two or three years down the road, your team will be competitive. And I know there are a lot of futsal coach in Cebu who aren’t attached to a Cesafi team.

I also had a brief chat with Eleazer Toledo of USPF, which fielded a team of a few newbies. But knowing him, give him a few years, he’ll transform that USPF squad.

That’s what Velez, CDU, UV and CIT-U needs, just a few years to develop a futsal program. What is important though is they take the first step in forming a squad. It won’t be as expensive as having a football team as you need at most 12 players in the squad.