PILIPINAS VisMin Super Cup organizers expelled the Siquijor Mystics from the league on Thursday in the aftermath of its controversial match against Lapu Lapu.
League COO Rocky Chan announced the sanctions in the league's Facebook page, a day after the Mystics and the Heroes figured in a ugly game of blown layups and free throws that raised suspicion of game-fixing and point shaving.
Fines and suspensions were also slapped against players and coaches of the Lapu-Lapu Heroes for their role in the controversial match.
“Don’t mess with the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup,” said Chan sternly.
Chan said all the games of Siquijor will be forfeited and all the members of the team - from the coaches, players to staff - are all banned for life from the regional league.
Lapu-Lapu head coach Francis Auquico was fined P30,000 and suspended for the remainder of the first round while members of his staff, namely Jerry Abuyador, Alex Cainglet, Jon Carlo Nuyles, Hamilton Tundag, and Roger Justin Potot, were all fined P20,000.
Player Rendell Senining was suspended for the rest of the tournament and fined P15,000. Jojo Tangkay, Reed Juntilla, Monbert Arong, Dawn Ochea, and Ferdinand Lusdoc were fined P15,000 each and suspended for the rest of the first round.
Members of the Mystics who were banned by the league were head coach Joel Palapal, assistant coach Magenelio Padrigao, Ryan Buenafe, Jan Cendric Penaflor, Gene Belleza, Michael John Calomot, Frederick Rodriguez, Jopet Quiro, Isagani Tangcay Gooc, Miguel Corro Castellano, Juan Andre Aspiras, Desmore Joshua Alcober, Vincent Tangcay, John Peter Buenafe, and Michael Sereno.
The league chief said the sanctioned were handed down after a thorough review done by VisMin officials and the Games and Amusement Board (GAB), which he said reached a decision as early as Wednesday night.
The VisMin Cup chief also took the time to clear the league's official ball, saying there was nothing wrong with it, in an apparent response to online comments blaming the ball for the sloppy play by both sides.
However, Chan and the other league officials never addressed the issue head on and never bothered to get an explanation from the players on plays that put the league under a cloud of game-fixing suspicion.
Chan condemned the players’ behavior which he said was a "disgraceful act to the sport that we love the most.”
To prevent a repeat, Chan said similar incidents will merit a P1 million fine on top of expulsions from the league.
Chan also apologized to the basketball community and assured that the incident is by no means a reflection of the entire league.
“We would also like to apologize to all our fans, our sponsors and to the entire basketball community for this unfortunate incident," he said.
"The goal of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup is to serve as an inspiration for the youth in our region to play the game we love the most. We assure that this incident is an isolated case,” he added.
“A stern warning to all the teams that we will not tolerate this kind of actions. Tinayo namin ang liga na ‘to to provide livelihood to players, coaches, utilities and other people behind. Sana wag nating sirain.
"Wag nating babuyin ang basketball na pinakamamahal ng Pinoy,” Chan added. “We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard. Thus, we will not tolerate these actions."
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