GAB bars FilBasket from holding tournaments sans nod


Posted at Jan 14 2022 07:05 PM | Updated as of Jan 15 2022 05:29 PM

From FilBasket's Facebook page
From FilBasket's Facebook page

(UPDATED) The Games and Amusement Board (GAB) has barred the Filipino Basketball League (FilBasket) from holding future tournaments without the board's permission.

GAB previously issued a cease and desist order against FilBasket for alleged violations of Presidential Decree No. 871, or the law placing professional basketball under the supervision and regulation of GAB.

The Board said FilBasket’s tournament is deemed as a professional sports competition since the teams pay its players sums of money for their participation.

The league, however, filed an appeal before the Office of the President claiming that it was an amateur league similar to UAAP and NCAA.

FilBasket later withdrew its appeal after it concluded its tournament in November last year. The tournament lasted for 26 days.

The Office of the President granted the motion.

But GAB chairman Abraham "Baham" Mitra said that any similar violation in the future "will be dealt with in accordance to the law."

"Even if FilBasket withdrew its appeal, any similar violation of PD871 by FilBasket or other pro-leagues will be dealt with in accordance with law," he said.

"FilBasket's previous defiance was ill-advised as the rules on this matter are already well-established. GAB’s advise to organizers is to comply with the law and GAB will always be there to assist in any way it can within the bounds of its mandate."

Mitra said FilBasket's case is closed now that it has already withdrew its appeal.

"But yes we will continue monitoring them and others similarly situated to prevent violation of the law governing professional sports in the Philippines," he said.

For his part, FilBasket Commissioner Jai Reyes said they already clarified their intentions to turn professional.

But the FilBasket executive said they did not get any response from GAB.

"We already told GAB since December that we are withdrawing the appeal and that we will comply in turning pro," he said. "They didn't even reply."