Rendell Senining, the ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City guard who became one of the notable figures in a controversial match that rocked the upstart Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, said his actions were made out of frustration with the Siquijor Mystics’ lack of competitive desire.
Speaking to former University of the Philippines guard Mikee Reyes, an apologetic Senining explained that he and the rest of the team noticed something fishy when they raced to a big lead before Siquijor made apparent attempts to deliberately miss its free throws and layups.
That prompted Lapu-Lapu to respond by bungling some of its own free throws, with the right-handed Senining attempting one foul shot using his left.
League officials were obviously far from pleased with the match which was stopped at halftime with Lapu-Lapu up 27-13 and slapped hefty sanctions that included the banishment of the Siquijor team and its players from the league.
Senining, on the other hand, was suspended for the rest of the tournament and fined P15,000. More sanctions could be handed by the Games and Amusements Board, which is in the process of completing a separate probe.
“Coming into the second quarter parang dun na namin napansin,” Senining told Reyes. “Actually nilapitan ng officials at nung head coach namin na ayusin yung laro kasi it’s really disrespectful to the game.
“Nung napansin na namin na yun yung gagawin nila, kung ano yung sineserve nila we just served it back to them. Para sa akin it shouldn’t be done like that pero we wanted to make a statement sa league na we shouldn’t afford to go up against those type of players.
“Ayaw namin maglaro ng ganyan. We tried to do what they did to us because we really wanted to stop the game. Kung anu i-serve nila sa amin, i-serve namin sa kanila siguro ma-realize ng commissioner or whoever watches the game na pangit na yung laro. Kasi panget namin kung kami mismo magwawalk away, they would question us at mawawala talaga yung integrity namin.
“So if babuyan talaga gusto nila, kung yun ang i-serve sa amin we serve it back. We didn’t know at that time emotions were spreading so our judgments were really clear at hindi namin alam kung paano i-stop yun game,” said Senining, who added that it was frustrating the Lapu-Lapu had made serious preparations only to see Siquijor do otherwise.
Senining also said in the interview that his part in the game will “haunt him for a long time” and that he hopes that his actions can be forgiven.
“I’m really sorry for what I did Hindi niyo makikita ulit yun sa akin, coming from me and I will bounce back from this. I will prove na hindi ako ganyan na player and I play the right way,” said Senining at the end of his interview with Reyes.