A CLOUD of uncertainty hovers around the University of Cebu (UC) Webmasters as they head to their semifinal match-up against the three-time defending champions University of the Visayas (UV) Green Lancers in the 2019 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) at the Cebu Coliseum on Thursday, November 14, 2019.
UC’s camp remains in limbo as they await word on whether their powerhouse student-athlete from Sierra Leone, Tosh Sesay, would be allowed to play in the semifinals after he skipped participating in the Cesafi All-Star Slam-Dunk competition last Sunday.
Sesay claimed he injured his finger and told the league’s long-time commissioner that he would not be able to compete. He was then asked to submit documents that would support his claim. Those papers, which include a medical certificate, were delivered to the commissioner’s office on Wednesday. However, it remains to be seen whether Sesay would be given the go-signal or not.
The league’s ground rules pertaining to the All-Star game and its activities state that “a student athlete or coach selected to participate in the ALL STAR game who fails or refuses to play without any valid reason as determined by the Commissioner will be penalized with a suspension to play for the rest of the season.”
SunStar Cebu sent several text messages to Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. but he has not yet replied to those messages as of Wednesday afternoon, November 13.
Nevertheless, UC’s lead assistant coach, Rocky Alcoseba, expressed hope that Sesay would be cleared to play.
“We are confident he will be allowed to play since we have valid reasons and we have legitimate supporting documents,” said the son of head coach, Yayoy Alcoseba.
He added that the team is not relying on their twice-to-beat advantage and is instead treating this game as a do-or-die one.
UC’s star guard Darrell Shane Menina said the team is ready to play, with or without Sesay.
“If ever he can’t play tomorrow, we are ready to play even harder. We just need to stick to our gameplan so that we can get the win,” Menina said.
On the other side, UV head coach Gary Cortes said that while the team may have found itself in unfamiliar territory, their morale remains high and is eager to face the challenge.
“The Lancers are placed in an unfamiliar situation but our spirits are high and we are ready to play,” he said.
UV’s veteran forward Jancork Cabahug also expressed his excitement at playing with their backs against the wall.
“We’re all very excited. And just like coach Gary said, we need to take this one game at a time,” he said.
Meanwhile, in the high school division, long-time foes SHS-Ateneo de Cebu rekindled their rivalry with the UV Baby Lancers as they face off in their own semis affair. Ateneo de Cebu is armed with a twice-to-beat advantage and needs to win just once to make their way back to the finals. (JNP)