MANILA, Philippines -- Former PBA commissioner Noli Eala joined the clamor in the aftermath of the controversial VisMin Super Cup in Cebu on Wednesday.
The game between the ARQ Builders-Lapu Lapu City Heroes and the Siquijor Mystics was stopped at the half with Lapu Lapu leading, 27-13, ostensibly due to a power interruption.
However, it was reported afterward that the game was stopped by officials after suspicious actions by the players -- including missed free throws and blown layups. One video circulating online showed a player take a free throw first with his left hand, then with his right.
The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) is already investigating the matter that has caught the attention of athletes and officials, including Eala.
"Players who played that VisMin Cup farcical game should certainly be held accountable for passing themselves as pros," Eala said on Twitter.
"So should everyone directly involved or who made this game possible. Accountability is what is lacking in governance. Keep it real," he added.
Already, organizers of the VisMin Super Cup have opted to postpone their Thursday slate in order to resolve the matter.
PBA stars including Kiefer Ravena, Paul Lee, and Robert Bolick have criticized the incident.
"Sad to see people/players playing the sport that gives livelihood to a lot of athletes. Wish they could treat it with respect and integrity," Ravena said on Twitter.
On Instagram, the NLEX guard expressed his hope that the young players who watched the game would not follow the example shown by the Siquijor and Lapu Lapu City cagers.
"Kung ganito ang gagawin nila, sana puyat lang sila, kulang sa extra work, masama ang gising o kahit anong dahilan at hindi dahil sa mga comments ng karamihan ng tao," said Ravena.
Magnolia's Lee was even more straightforward, saying outright: "Binababoy niyo 'yung laro."
"Maraming player nawalan ng trabaho ngayong pandemic," Lee pointed out. "Kayo 'yung mga pinagpala para makapaglaro, tapos ganyan."
Several other athletes have commented on the video posted on Instagram by Hoop Junkie, including San Miguel's CJ Perez who extolled the lessons taught to him by his collegiate coach, Topex Robinson.
"Honor the game," said Perez. "Coach Topex 'yan lagi ang sinasabi sa akin."
basketball, VisMin Super Cup, ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu City Heroes, Siquijor Mystics, game fixing