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Freeman Cebu Sports

CECABA is back!

Emmanuel B. Villaruel - The Freeman

CEBU, Philippines — After a five-year hiatus, the Cebu Eastern College Alumni Basketball Association (CECABA) returns with the 17th season of its annual Dr. Chen Lieh Fu Memorial Cup today at the Cebu Coliseum.

“With the blessings of our founder Chester Cokaliong, we decided to revive CECABA to continue its legacy being one of the oldest and best organized alumni-based cage leagues in Cebu,” said CECABA President Joel Chan of Batch ‘85. “And this is very timely because we will be celebrating our 25th anniversary this year.”

The last time CECABA staged a tournament was in 2019 before the global pandemic broke out.

“Due to the strong clamor of our fellow alumni, we decided to bring back CECABA. We hope for the best as we look forward to its success,” added Chan.

Before the hardcourt action, a simple opening ceremony will take place starting off with the traditional parade of teams at 1 p.m.

The selection of best muse and best in uniform will spice up the short program.

Prior to that, Cokaliong, who established CECABA in 1999 buoyed by his ardent desire to foster fellowship and camaraderie among Easternian graduates through the sport close to their hearts, is set to deliver an inspirational message.

After which, Cokaliong will touch down the floor for the first time in 12 years. He previously saw action in CECABA donning the jersey of Batch ‘78 way back in 2012.

At 63, Cokaliong is one of the only two CECABA legends that is still active in the league. The other one is the ageless  Zotico “Tuco” Tan who remains sharp as ever at 78 years old.

The all-time leader in 3-point shooting, the sniping skills of Cokaliong will be tested right away as his team will go up against a mixture of players from different batches in the season-opening match.

In all, 16 teams will be competing in the three-month tilt that promises to be another exciting experience and fun-filled competition for the sports-minded Easternians whose bond is strengthened by their common love for shooting hoops through the years. — (FREEMAN)

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