The 2018 season of the Cebu Schools and Athletic Foundation Inc. (Cesafi), which has a theme of "Cesafi @18 Millennial and Beyond," unfurled on Saturday at the Cebu Coliseum.
Cesafi is the biggest cage league in the south of the Philippines that has produced the likes of reigning four-time PBA MVP June Mar Fajardo and Ginebra big man Greg Slaughter.
University of the Visayas (UV) is looking to defend the title it clinched last year at the expense of University of Cebu. The Green Lancers swept the Webmasters, the alma mater of Fajardo, to repeat as champions and will be gunning for a three-peat this season.
The competing teams took part in a parade at the opening ceremony on Saturday. But the highlight of the festivities was a unique dance ensemble by all the school's dances troupes called "Grand Palabas" instead of the usual separate dance performances.
A game between Southwestern University-Phinma Cobras and the Cebu Institute of Technology University ushered in the new basketball season with the Cobras flexing their muscles against the Wildcats, 87-53.
The 2018 season of Cesafi, which has Sun Cellular as its presenting partner, will feature 15 sporting events, as well as 14 academic and cultural competitions.
The league also has a new member in the University of Cebu Lapu-Lapu/Mandaue (UCLM). The Sisters of Mary School-Boystown, meanwhile, will serve as a guest team/member.
ESPN5's JC Ansis contributed to this report.