Basketball fever is back in Cebu as the 3rd Season of the Cebu Governor’s Cup Inter-Cities/Municipalities 21-Under Basketball Tournament hit eight different venues on its opening day. A total of 17 games will be played today with the defending champions Talisay City Aquastars and its runner-up seeing action in separate venues. The Aquastars, who went undefeated in 14 games last season will be hosting Sibonga Pillars, the surprise South Division runner-ups at the Talisay City Sports and Cultural Center while San Francisco will open its season on the road, as they visit Danao City Civic Center to play fellow Camotes Island team Poro.
The Cebu Provincial Sports Commission (CPSC), the organizer of this province wide grassroots basketball competition, wanted to do away with the extravagant opening ceremony, which was usually hosted in Cebu City on the first two years. “As much as we wanted to have a grand opening ceremony, it is just ideal to hold a simultaneous opening games in all seven districts of Cebu Province and have more teams playing on the opening day,” said CPSC Executive Director Ramil P. Abing. Expenses is not an issue, as CSPS is asking the host teams to hold their own separate opening ceremonies that would be subsidized by the office.
“We also wanted to have as many games as possible because we wanted to start the tournament before start of the local campaign period. This year’s tournament is also designed end before the May elections as what Gov. (Junjun) Davide had instructed. He really wanted to continue this program because this is what the youth are expecting every year,” added Abing. Inaugural season champion Minglanilla Archangels will also see action against San Fernando Spartans also in Talisay City while up north, 4th District heavy-weights Bogo City will play Sta. Fe Sea Farers while Argao visits Oslob in the main match of the triple header games in Oslob Municipal Gym.
Third district rivals Tuburan and Balamban will also clash in the lone game in Tuburan Municipal gym, the Consolacion Sarok Weavers will start its quest against Cordova at the Consolacion Municipal Gym while Dumanjug will host Alcantara at its newly-finished Dumanjug Municipal Gym. A total of 41 teams throw their hats into the race to the P500,000 champion’s prize.