By Marsante G. Alison
Today’s finals of the 2014 Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (CESAFI) Tertiary Football will be reminiscent of the finals in 2011 wherein the University of San Carlos (USC) went up against the University of Southern Philippines Foundation (USPF).
Then, USC took the title via a penalty shootout after both the regulation and extension ended scoreless.
Games @ Cebu City Sports Center, Oct. 6, 2014
7:30 a.m. UC vs USJR (fight for third Tertiary)
9:30 a.m. USPF vs USC (Tertiary championships)
11:30 a.m. SHS-AdC vs DBTC (Secondary championships)
Back then, USPF had enjoyed a lineup of experienced players and was hoping to cop the title after having finished 1st runner-up twice in the tournament’s history while contesting the title against the University of San Jose Recoletos (USJ-R). USC, on the otherhand, was hoping to end a five-year drought.
This time, both teams are once again hungry to get their hands on the title with USPF getting its fourth chance to clinch it after having finished as 1st runner-up thrice already; and USC hoping to take back the title it lost to USJ-R in 2012 and last year.
With only two of the players in its 2011 lineup—Lupito Tumulak and Jephuneh Pelanio, as holdovers, head coach Eleazar Toledo admitted that lady luck have had a hand in its run-up to the finals.
“Luck in a sense that most of them are first timers, thus a new lineup. We get our game from counter attacking, we believed that the best offense is defense, and that is the quality that brought them to the finals,” said Toledo.
He added that he never expected to be in a position where the team would be contesting for the title.
“I told them that if they will apply all the training that I gave them, I will already be satisfied because they have learned something from the training that I gave them,” Toledo said.
USPF finished the eliminations as the top seed with three wins, one draw and dropping one game against USC, which could be an advantage for the latter as a motivation in the finals.
USPF, however, showed that it is not just luck that brought them to the top after advancing to the finals with a 2-1 edging of the defending champions USJ-R in the semifinals.
“We don’t feel intimidated or scared, we are ready whomever we will face. That is the attitude that we have right now, we will go for the title and besides lady luck is still with us,” Toledo said.
USC earlier defeated UC for its finals ticket.
Prior to the tertiary championships, the fight for third between University of Cebu (UC) and USJ-R will take place.
The secondary championships will also follow the tertiary championships after it was cancelled earlier when the rain rendered the field unplayable.