Bonbon Custodio recounts own experience as PBA game-fixing issue resurfaces
Bonbon Custodio played seven seasons in the PBA and is not closing the door on a return. Jerome Ascano

BLACKWATER coach Leo Isaac’s cryptic speech inside the dugout after a 124-120 overtime loss to Phoenix has reignited the game-fixing issue in the PBA.

That's something former pro Bonbon Custodio is quite familiar with.

Just as Carlo Lastimosa's came under fire for missing a bonus free throw that could've won it for the Elite late in regulation, Custodio has found himself in the same boat during his PBA career.

[See Did Isaac smell something fishy after Blackwater loss to Phoenix?]

Even as he spent almost two seasons out of the PBA, Custodio’s name continues to be brought up when such issues resurface. The Leyte-born cager, however, pays no need, and it’s the same advice he gives to Lastimosa.

"(Expletives) wala akong pakialam dun (bintang-bintang sa akin). Hindi ako tinatamaan sa mga ganun, kalakaran nila yan. Hindi ako tinatamaan sa mga yan. Basta naglalaro lang ako," said the 5-11 former University of the East standout.

"Wag nilang pansinin yun (mga bintang sa kanila). Pag nagpa-apekto ka dyan, lalo na kung di totoo, walang mangyayari sa'yo," he added.

While Custodio denies involvement in game-fixing during his PBA career, he also said such accusations should not be taken lightly.

"Sa PBA, laro kasi nila yan, pinasukan nila ng ganyan-ganyan. Di ba yung PBA, may mga isyu nang ganyan na may naglalalaglag, may mga bentahan?" he said.

"Ako, hindi ko alam yan eh. Saka galing ako sa larong pustahan, hindi ko alam na dyan sa big league, mas malala pala yung pustahan dyan," added the now 33-year-old former Sta. Lucia Realtors guard.

[See Carlo Lastimosa cries foul over accusations]

Custodio, a seven-year PBA veteran known for his unorthodox style and daredevil drives, warned players to stay out of it.

"Pero kung totoo yun (expletive), kung ginawa nila yun, harapin nila ang consequences ng pinag-gagawa nila. Yun lang yun, kung ginawa mo, pinasukan mo, dapat alam mo kung paano lalabasan," he warned.

Custodio shared that up to now he is not closing his doors on the PBA, but he insisted he is now happy playing in different bush leagues around the country.

"Hindi ako tumatalikod sa PBA. Kung di sila interesado sa akin, di ko naman ipipilit sarili ko. Although kaya ko pa maglaro, pero kung ayaw nila, okay lang. Ang daming basketbol eh," said Custodio who was in Talavera, Nueva Ecija for a pick-up game when reached by SPIN.ph.

Asked if game fixing-related issues were the reasons why his PBA career was unceremoniously cut short, Custodio shook his head.

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"Hindi, marami lang talagang players. Saka kulang ang teams. Sana talaga madagdagan ang teams," he said. "Saka may favoritism dyan (sa PBA). Sa pamilya nga may favoritism, dyan pa ba kaya?" Custodio added.

Regardless of what happens from hereon, Custodio said he is happy with what he has accomplished in his career: a simple boy from the province who achieved his PBA dream.

"Wala lang, gusto ko lang maaalala nila na isa akong simpleng bata mula sa Leyte na nangarap maglaro ng basketball at pitong taong naging bahagi ng PBA. Masaya na ko run," said Custodio.

Follow the writer on Twitter: @snowbadua