3 Cebu sports events postponed, record attempt to continue despite Ruby threat

December 6, 2014 4:30 am 

CEBU CITY, Dec. 5 — Super typhoon Ruby has forced the cancellation of all but one of the major sports activities scheduled in Cebu for the weekend.

Organizers of the Cebu City Mayor Trail Run on Saturday were forced to move their event to next week due to the storm, while the sports clinics of Sen. Pia Cayetano and the opening of the Aboitiz Football Cup were moved to next year.

"We initially rescheduled it to Dec. 13 but since there is another run scheduled that day, we decided to hold it on Dec. 14," said Cinbeth Orellano of the Cebu City Tourism Commission, which is organizing the event together with the Cebu City Sports Commission.

On the other hand, the volleyball, triathlon and football clinics of Sen. Pia Cayetano, who was also supposed to join the Cebu City Trail Run, was moved to Feb. 6 and 7 next year due to the typhoon.

Former Azkals team captain Chieffy Caligdong, who was supposed to hold the clinic, also failed to get a flight to Cebu due to trip cancellations.

The Cebu Football Association, which is running the Aboitiz Football Cup, also decided to postpone the start of the tournament to Jan. 25.

The event, which offers competitions from the Under 7 all the way to the 38-above division, was supposed to start at the Cebu City Sports Center on Dec. 7.

On the other hand, even the threat of a coming super typhoon isn't deterring the organizers of the Kick for Life: Football Marathon 101, which started at noon of Dec. 2.

Now three-thirds of their target of 101 hours, the players are still at it at the San Roque Parish football field in Mandaue City with the Heart Beat United already leading the Heart Warriors, 234-191.

However, organizers of the event are also wary of the typhoon and are ready to evacuate if needed.

"Kick for Life players are doing all right and they still look in shape. Except for minor blisters, I don't see any serious challenges on their part," said Jaq Siwala, the overall organizer of the event designed to set the world record for the longest football match.

The two 18-man teams are trying to break the 72-hour record set in UK last year and they were expected to breach that mark at 5 p.m. on Friday.

"We are as calm as the weather now and we are positive that we're going to break the 72-hour record and raise it to 101 hours by 7 p.m on Saturday," she said.

However, in case it is needed, Siwala also said they will coordinate with the barangay for an evacuation plan.

"We are also planning how to secure every one out here–the players, organizers, volunteers, sponsors and spectators. We are going to coordinate with the barangay officals and the administration of the parish for an immediate evacuation area. The second step is to make sure that there are available vehicles to transport everyone from the evacuation are to a safer place," she said.

Aside from the players, volunteer cooks, medics, police personnel, match officials are involved in the record attempt.

Siwala also said that it's not the storm that is their primary concern though she admitted that the looming super typhoon has dampened their spirits a bit.

"Another problem is the stray dogs that keep getting in the pitch and second are the residents. Some just don't mind the cordoned area and insist on walking into the field. But I think the major issue here is how people are panicking with the news forecast about the typhoon, which has somehow dampened the players' spirit,” Siwala said. (PNA)

CTB/EB/MP/

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