Siquijor team had 'no intention of competing,' says Lapu Lapu team owner


Posted at Apr 15 2021 05:27 PM

Siquijor team had 'no intention of competing,' says Lapu Lapu team owner 1
Lapu Lapu City's Ferdinand Lusdoc in action against the Tabogon in their first game of the VisMin Super Cup. Lusdoc is one of the Lapu Lapu City players who are suspended in the aftermath of their controversial game against Siquijor. Handout photo

MANILA, Philippines -- After their controversial game against Siquijor in the VisMin Super Cup on Wednesday, the owner of ARQ Builders–Lapu Lapu City will take steps to ensure that a similar situation won't happen again.

The Siquijor Mystics have been expelled from the league after Wednesday's game that saw players on both sides make curious decisions -- including blown layups on the break and missed free throws. The game was stopped at the half with Lapu Lapu City holding a 27-13 lead.

Several players from Lapu Lapu City as well as their coaching staff have been suspended and fined in the wake of the incident.

Jason Arquisola, who owns the ARQ Builders–Lapu Lapu City squad, on Thursday expressed his gratitude to the league and the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) for their swift and decisive action.

"As a sportsman who has supported this team starting from small commercial leagues all the way to the professional level, I denounce any and all shenanigans involving the game of basketball," he said in a statement.

"Our team came here to play, to win. And it's such a shame that some people have different priorities other than winning."

Arquisola said that they were aware right from the start that the Siquijor players were engaged in "shenanigans."

"From the get-go, it was clear to our coaches and players that the opposing team had no intention of competing during that game," he explained. "Their players kept egging our players to build the lead further and would even wink at our bench whenever they missed a shot or a free-throw."

He admitted that his team did not handle the situation as well as they could have. One of their players, Rendell Senining, went viral for his free throw attempts: he took his first free throw with the left hand, and his second with the right, and missed both.

"Given all the hours that they spent preparing for the games, all the sacrifices that they made to be the best versions of themselves for this league, I don’t blame them if they found the opposing team’s actions to be disgusting and responded in that manner," Arquisola said of his team.

"Still, I do not condone any of their actions and admit that they could have handled it in a much better way," he stressed. "For that, I apologize and I assure everyone that I am personally dealing with the matter."

Arquisola now hopes to move forward from the situation as he stressed that his team's goal is to win the VisMin Cup championship.

"We will do so to the best of our abilities and with the highest standards of sportsmanship and decorum," he said. "We will continue to work with the league to make sure that the selfishness of some will not tarnish the game that we love."

Five of Lapu Lapu City's players are suspended from the first round: Jercules Tangcay, Reed Juntilla, Monbert Arong, Dawn Ochea, and Ferdinand Lusdoc. They have also been fined P15,000.

Senining, meanwhile, was banned for the rest of the tournament on top of his P15,000 fine. 

Lapu Lapu City head coach Francis Auquico is suspended for the rest of the first round and fined P30,000, while his assistants -- Jerry Abuyabor, Alex Cainglet, John Carlo Nuyles, Hamilton Tundag, and Roger Justin Potpot -- were each fined P20,000.

The Heroes, who have a 2-0 record, are scheduled to play league-leading MJAS Zenith Talisay Aquastars (3-0) on Friday.


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