Limpag: P10M for sports tourism

Mike T. Limpag

I HAD an accidental meeting with Councilor Jerry Guardo the other day and the councilor shared an interesting news. He plans to introduce an ordinance that will allocate P10 million annually to the Cebu City Sports Commission (CCSC) to fund its sports tourism related activities.

CCSC already spends a lot for its participation in various meets--Philippine National Games and Batang Pinoy--aside from its grassroots program and this one would be a big boost.

What readily came to the back of my mind was this annual allocation, at least a fraction of it, may help in finally realizing an event football fans have long dreamed of.

A tournament pitting the various champions from Manila, Bacolod, Iloilo, Cebu and Davao. Heck, we can have it in summer and target the high school champions of Cesafi, UAAP, NCAA and the school-based league of Bacolod, Davao and Iloilo.

Why high school? Well, the high school football calendar typically ends after the Palarong Pambansa, while college teams, or players, have other tournaments to join. And of course, parents, plus the rest of the family, normally accompany these high school footballers.

Heck, we can call it a Sugbu Cup, a week-long tournament for six champions. Six is an ideal number since that means three games per day for five days, a one-day rest, then a championship match between the top two teams. With six, there’s no need to divide the teams into two groups and besides, doing that defeats the purpose of having the champions play each other at least once.

Another advantage would be that since this is football, there is no need to allocate prize money, which could go as high as P250,000 for commercial basketball tournaments. That amount, can instead be allocated for the visiting teams’ food for the week-long tournament, which could further entice them to join it.

Can it be done? I’m sure the CCSC, in cooperation with the Central Visayas Football Association, can get things rolling. And I tell you, if that happens, that’s going to be the first tournament where all the participants are champions of their respective leagues. Basketball has that and I hope football can finally have that.