THE Games and Amusements Board (GAB) is investigating a Pilipinas VisMin Cup match between the ARQ-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes and Siquijor Mystics on Wednesday that raised suspicions due to free-throw clankers and blown layups.
The game between Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor in the league's bubble in Alcantara, Cebu was called off with the Heroes leading, 27-13. A press release said the match was stopped due to a power outage and will be restarted in a later date.
However, sources said it was league officials who ordered the match stopped as GAB chairman Baham Mitra ordered his people on the ground to immediately conduct an investigation.
Parts of videos of the match now surfacing online showed players from both sides clanking free throws and blowing wide-open lay-ups.
The two teams combined for 4-of-29 clip from the free-throw line with Siquijor even missing all of its 10 attempts before the game was halted.
While some of the misses seemed comical, the GAB is taking the matter very seriously.
“The games were stopped and report from our staff members inside the bubble will be sent after their investigation,” Mitra told SPIN.ph.
Mitra said the GAB board will meet on Thursday to tackle the matter.
"We would like to remind our players that a license to practice profession is not a right, but a concession and a privilege granted by the government," he said in a statement.
"Now, if they fail to abide by the rules, the government has the right to step in to impose necessary sanctions or revoke such a privilege. Officials, Coaches and players should act as professionals or loose their licenses. Shape up or ship out!"
Strangely, the entire livestream of the match is no longer available in the league’s official Facebook page as well as in the pages of its main sponsors.
Already, top PBA players led by Kiefer Ravena and other basketball personalities condemned what they said was a 'lack of respect for the game' judging from the parts of the game shown online.
In one of the videos that is now spreading online, a few players from Siquijor were shown attempting to bank shots from the free-throw line.
Another player from Siquijor who was coming off a steal from mid-court blew a wide-open fastbreak lay-up in almost comical fashion.
One player from Lapu-Lapu, meanwhile, shot his first free throw left-handed, the second one right-handed, both of which he missed.
The Pilipinas VisMin Cup is currently playing their Visayas leg. They were allowed by the government to play their inaugural tournament after securing professional status from the GAB.