Displaced Cesafi imports allowed to switch schools without undergoing residency
Cesafi has followed the UAAP's ruling of one import per team but is giving the displaced players a chance to continue seeing action with other schools. Photo courtesy of Japhet Lim

CEBU CITY — Cebu’s collegiate league will allow eligible foreign players displaced by the “one import per team” rule to suit up for other schools without having to serve the two-year residency requirement.

The development was finalized on Wednesday night in a meeting among the Cebu Schools Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi) board members. The new Cesafi season opens on August 1.

“The rule is meant to level the playing field and make the games even more exciting. They will be allowed to transfer and still play without serving the residency provided that their grades pass the requirements set by the league,” said Cesafi commissioner Felix Tiukinhoy on Thursday.

[See Top Cebu league Cesafi follows UAAP lead, puts limit of one foreign player per team

Tiukinhoy said the rule will also enable foreign players to continue their studies and earn their degree as opposed to just dropping out.

This means foreign players such as University of San Carlos’ Espoir Toyambe, University of the Visayas’ seven-footer Jean Mpouma and Southwestern University’s Landry Sanjo will be allowed to suit up immediately for other teams should they be recruited.

Three teams —University of Cebu, University of Southern Philippines Foundation and Cebu Institute of Technology-University — don’t have a foreign player in their squads.

However, UC coach and team manager Baldomero Estenzo said he is sticking to his all-local squad.

“I’m content with my team. Even though we’re small, they’re feisty, and okay na ako diyan,” said Estenzo, a staunch supporter of having the league become exclusive for Filipinos.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @ForgetAboutJay