The Games and Amusements Board suspended next month’s Mindanao leg of the embattled Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup in relation to game-fixing allegations that marred the controversial game between ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City and the Siquijor Mystics.
GAB chairman Baham Mitra said the decision was made in order to re-evaluate the upstart league which gained notoriety due to the dubious game that saw both teams make apparent attempts to deliberately miss their free throws and layups.
Mitra said the Visayas leg will push through, though intense scrutiny of the government regulatory body for professional sports.
“We are in the process of investigation and seriously looking into the allegations of wrongdoing. The board would like to further observe the ongoing Visayas leg before giving a go signal for the other,” said Mitra.
The Mindanao leg, set to start May 20 in Dipolog, would feature teams from Basilan, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga, Pagadian, Roxas, Sindagan, Ozamiz and Tawi-Tawi.
VisMin officials led by Chief Operations Officer Rocky Chan expelled Siquijor from the ongoing Visayas leg in Alcantara, Cebu while also banning all players and coaches of the said team from joining the league.
The league, however, spared two players from the Mystics who were not inside the Alcantara Civic Center when the farcical match occurred, namely the injured Miguel Castellano and Michael Sereno, who left the bubble prior to the start of the tournament due to personal reasons.
Vincent Tangcay, who was in uniform but didn’t play a single second for Siquijor, could also be reinstated pending a decision from VisMin officials.
Five Lapu-Lapu players and five coaches were handed fines and suspensions, with guard Rendell Senining receiving the stiffest sanction by being banned for the rest of the tournament and fined P15,000.
GAB is still in the process of completing its investigation while the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas has launched its own probe.
“In the meantime, GAB is reviewing the official reports of its field officers in the bubble and that of the League to determine the administrative liability of the licensees as well as the possibility of proceeding with criminal charges if warranted by the circumstances,” said Mitra.
“Our mandate is to ensure the integrity of professional sports/welfare of players and were doing just that,” he added.