The owner of ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City claimed that Siquijor came into their controversial match in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup with no intention of competing.
“I denounce any and all shenanigans involving the game of basketball. Our team came here to play, to win. And it’s such a shame that some people have different priorities other than winning,” said Jason Arquisola in a statement that came after stiff sanctions that resulted in Siquijor’s expulsion from the league.
Siquijor was shown the door for actions made in the infamous match held Wednesday, April 14 in Alcantara, Cebu where its players were either missing free throws and layups or making dubious mistakes.
One player even missed an easy layup without any challenge from an opposing player, much to the chagrin of fans and members of the local basketball community who later saw highlights of the game on social media.
Arquisola said it was obvious that the Mystics, the moniker of the Siquijor squad, were urging the Lapu-Lapu players to hike their lead.
But Lapu-Lapu wasn’t spared from the controversy, as some of its players were missing free throws in a questionable manner. The league eventually suspended player Rendell Senining and coach Francis Auquico for the rest of the tournament while five players were suspended for the remainder of the first round.
“From the get-go, it was clear to our coaches and players that the opposing team had no intention of competing during that game. Their players kept egging our players to build the lead further and would even wink at our bench whenever they missed a shot or a free-throw,” said Arquisola.
“I realize though, that our team could have dealt with the matter better. However, given all the hours that they spent preparing for the games, all the sacrifices that they made to be the best versions of themselves for this league, I don’t blame them if they found the opposing team’s actions to be disgusting and responded in that manner.
“Still, I do not condone any of their actions and admit that they could have handled it in a much better way. For that, I apologize and I assure everyone that I am personally dealing with the matter,” added Arquisola.
Arquisola lauded the swift action of the league and the Games and Amusements Board while vowing to play with a desire to win the title of the upstart league.
“Moving forward, I also want to assure everyone that the ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes are committed to one thing and one thing only — to winning the title. And we will do so to the best of our abilities and with the highest standards of sportsmanship and decorum,” he said.
“We will continue to work with the league to make sure that the selfishness of some will not tarnish the game that we love.”