Cebu News

Refusing to bow to court order CESAFI resetsrest of games

Mylen P. Manto - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines - The remaining games of the 2013 Junior Basketball League of the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation, Inc. (CESAFI) have been postponed indefinitely.

This was the decision of the CESAFI Board, headed by Commissioner Felix “Boy” O. Tiukinhoy, Jr., during a meeting last night.

The board decision came after Regional Trial Court Branch 7 Judge Simeon Dumdum, Jr. issued a new Temporary Restraining Order yesterday allowing Scott Aying of the University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors to play in the junior basketball league.

Dumdum issued a TRO Wednesday, Sept. 18, but the CESAFI Board defied it saying the court order was “defective” because it was dated Sept. 16. 

The games scheduled last Wednesday still did not push through, however, and were earlier postponed to today upon the advice of the league’s lawyers Baldomero Estenzo and Marvin Pañares. The USC Baby Warriors were supposed to play against the CEC Dragons at 5pm and the UV Baby Lancers against the SHS-Ateneo Magis Eagles at 6:45pm today but the board decision last night postpones all high school basketball games indefinitely.

 â€œIt appears that there was a typographical error on the date of the temporary restraining order (TRO) issued by the court on Sept. 18, 2013. Let therefore an amended TRO issue. So ordered,” said the order penned by Dumdum dated Sept. 19, 2013.

Last Wednesday, court server Fritz Mejias, together with Aying’s mother Avah Michelle and their lawyer Donato Gonzales, went to the Cebu Coliseum armed with a TRO that allows the student athlete to play the supposed game between the Cebu Eastern College Dragons and the University of San Carlos (USC) Baby Warriors.

Aying is among the 15 high school students who play for the USC Baby Warriors.

Last week, Aying’s parents filed a complaint for injunction with TRO and damages before the court against CESAFI and its officials; President Fr. Manny Uy, Commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy Jr. and screening committee members Jess Himotas and Danny Duran for allegedly disqualifying their son from playing in the tournament due to the residency rule.

The parents claimed that the two-year residency rule only applies to college students and not to high school students. Thus, they sought for the issuance of a 20-day TRO to stop the CESAFI from implementing the said rule and to allow their son to play in the upcoming game schedules.

Aside from the TRO, Aying’s parents also asked the court to declare void his disqualification from the USC team, as well as other games where he was barred from playing. Likewise, they also asked the court to order respondents to pay P50,000 in moral damages.

Pañares earlier said that there was no status quo, claiming that before the opening of the league last August 3, the CESAFI Board already disqualified Aying from playing for failure to meet the two-year residency rule.

Aying, in 2011, was enrolled at the Don Bosco Technology Center, a member of CESAFI. However, in 2012, he left the said school and joined his coach, Carlito Britt Reroma in San Beda College in Manila. However, Reroma returned to Cebu to attend to his ailing father and got an offer to coach the USC team. Reroma then contacted Aying and gave him a slot in the USC Basic Education Department basketball team.

However, before the opening of the league on August 3, Aying’s parents said that Reroma received a letter from the screening committee of the CESAFI informing him that Aying was disqualified to play, which the couple claimed was a “wrongful interpretation of CESAFI’s grounds and regulations.”

Dumdum, in the amended TRO, ordered the CESAFI to stop implementing its residency rule.

“The matter having been brought upon the prayer of petitioners in their petition for a TRO, the court, after hearing the same, finds a need to maintain the status quo until the merits can be heard, and so issued this TRO, directing the respondents, their agents or representatives, for a period of 20 days from service upon them or any of them of a copy of this order, to allow Scott Aying to play beginning today in the games of the 13th CESAFI Season,” Dumdum ordered.

Meanwhile, the judge ordered the respondents to “show cause,” on Sept. 26, 2013 at 2:30 p.m., why the court should not grant the petitioners’ request for the issuance of a writ of preliminary injunction. — with Emmanuel B. Villaruel/QSB (FREEMAN)












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