9 VisMin Super Cup players linked to game-fixing allegations banned from competing

ABS-CBN News

Posted at Oct 24 2021 12:06 AM

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has revoked the license to compete of 9 Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup players linked to game-fixing allegations, the government agency in charge of regulating professional sports announced on Friday.

The game in question was between Siquijor Mystics and ARQ Lapu Lapu Builders in April.

The penalty will affect the following names, all of the Siquijor club: former Blue Eagles player Ryan Buenafe, teammates Joshua Alcober, Juan Aspiras, Gene Belleza, Peter Buenafe, Michael Calomot, Jan Penaflor, Joseph Quiro, Frederick Rodriguez, and head coach Joel Palapal. 

“Ang effectivity is immediately,” GAB legal division head Atty. Omar Benitez said during a virtual press conference on Friday.

Suspended for 6 months were ARQ Builders head coach Francis Auquico, and players Reed Juntilla, Rendell Senining and Jercules Tangkay.
 
Teammates Franz Arong, Ferdinand Lusdoc, and Dawn Ochea were suspended for 3 months together with assistant coaches Jerry Abuyabor and Alex Cainglet.

Benitez said the players will be barred from participating in any professional leagues.

“Kung sa professional game ang lalaruan nila, hindi puwede maglaro. Kung under non-pro game ang lalaruan nila, under what setup? Under the legal framework it does not exist at this time," Benitez said.

" ’Pag naglaro sila e di nag-violate sila ng both IATF and GAB rules and it will will affect their relationship with GAB rules. ’Pag nag-apply sila ng license na, lalabas ’yan eventually. May effect iyan sa kanilang professional status. Magiging repeat offenders sila.”

Benitez, however, said the suspended players may re-apply for a professional license in the future.

Last April, Siquijor and Lapu Lapu figured in a VisMin game marred by questionable plays that included air-balled free throws, botched fast-break attempts, and suspicious turnovers. 

The game also saw Siquijor score only 5 points in the first quarter and 8 in the second. The Lapu Lapu team only had four points during the second quarter.

Both squads also attempted and missed an unusual number of free throws as Siquijor missed all 10 of their free-throw attempts, while allowing Lapu-Lapu to attempt 19 in 20 minutes of action.

This forced game officials to suspend the match.

The Siquijor Mystics were later expelled from the league. Several members of the Lapu Lapu Heroes were also penalized.

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