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    Rookie Jeff Viernes hit with sanctions by Phoenix after playing in 'ligang labas' game

    Apr 17, 2017

    JEFF Viernes has recently realized his PBA dream, yet it seems he’s already making it a nightmare for himself as he played in an unsanctioned league a few games after signing a one-conference contract with Phoenix. learned that the rookie playmaker suited up under a different name for eventual champion Hobe Macway Travel against Racal Ceramica in the championship game of the Republica Cup commercial division in Malolos two weekends ago.

    Fuel Masters coach Ariel Vanguardia confirmed the news, saying the 27-year-old Viernes already apologized for his action and is facing a sanction from the team.

    “Personally, I’m disappointed because I fought for him to be in the team,” Vanguardia said in a text message on Monday. “Madaming gusto to be in his spot.”

    “But he did not value the team, the league, and the opportunity,” he added of Viernes, a St. Clare product who waited four years to make it to the pros after going undrafted in 2013.

    Phoenix team manager Paolo Bugia said an undisclosed “internal penalty” will be slapped on Viernes, who has played two games for the Fuel Masters this Commissioner’s Cup.

    “Our team will not tolerate any player participating in unsanctioned events or tournaments,” Bugia said. "Phoenix’s utmost integrity is a company-wide practice, hence we will not hesitate to impose sanctions on erring players.”

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