On the heels of Vismin Super Cup fiasco: GAB suspends Mindanao leg

Emmanuel B. Villaruel (The Freeman) - April 19, 2021 - 12:00am

CEBU, Philippines —  In another big blow to the Pilipinas Vismin Super Cup, the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) yesterday suspended its Mindanao leg and put the fledgling league for re-evaluation.

 The Mindanao leg is supposed to start on May 20 with eight contending teams in Pagadian Explorers, Cagayan de Oro Rafters, Sindangan Saints, Roxas Vanguars, Zamboanga City Los Valientes, Basilan Peace Riders, Ozamiz Cotta, and Tawi-Tawi but the GAB put it on hold for the time being.

“We are in the process of investigation and seriously looking into the allegations of wrong doing. The board would like to further observe the ongoing Visayas leg before giving a go signal for the other,” said GAB chairman Baham Mitra in an official statement.

The decision came in the wake of the farcical game between the Siquijor Mystics and the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes last Wednesday (April 14) in the league’s Visayas bubble play at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara, Cebu that drew the ire of netizens on social media and even from some PBA stars and renowned sports personalities.

The highly controversial match was marred by unbelievable misses such as air-balled free throws, botched fast-break attempts, and mind-boggling turnovers, sparking allegations of match fixing.

The Vismin Super Cup management led by its COO Rocky Chan has swiftly acted on the matter, expelling the entire Siquijor Mystics team from the country’s first ever professional league based in the South, and suspending and slapping hefty fines against some of the AQR Lapu-Lapu players and their coaching staff.

In the meantime, Mitra said they are 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.

“Our mandate is to ensure the integrity of professional sports/welfare of players and were doing just that,” said Mitra.

Meanwhile, the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas Inc. (SBP) has also dipped its finger on the issue.

As per Luisa Morales of Philstar.com, SBP President Al Panlilio said the had already tasked executive director Sonny Barrios and director of operations Butch Antonio to look into the matter.

“Hindi ito acceptable in any sport,” said Panlilio on Noli Eala’s Power & Play last Saturday. “They were the only few who were privileged to play and they should take advantage of that. There’s a great responsibility of being given that chance and they have to show the youth how the game should be played.”

“I was aghast with that incident. It’s completely disrespecting the game that we love,” Panlilio added. “I think from the federation’s point of view, we can sanction them maybe by suspending the players and the league. Definitely, we need to sanction them. I just want to make sure that we make the right application of sanctions,” he added.

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