MPBL: League takes over Soccsksargen operations, as game-fixing probe looms

Dennis Gasgonia, ABS-CBN News

Posted at Nov 05 2019 06:54 PM | Updated as of Nov 05 2019 07:31 PM

MPBL: League takes over Soccsksargen operations, as game-fixing probe looms 1
MPBL: League takes over Soccsksargen operations, as game-fixing probe looms 2
MPBL: League takes over Soccsksargen operations, as game-fixing probe looms 3

Soccsksargen's team operations until his office finds a group that can finance the club. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Pampanga beat Soccsksargen 115-71 in the MPBL on Tuesday, the Marlins' 19th loss in a row. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

Interim head coach Manuel Torralba called the shots for the Marlins Tuesday, a game Soccsksargen lost to Pampanga, the Marlins' 19th loss in a row. George Calvelo, ABS-CBN News

BIÑAN, Laguna—The MPBL will pursue criminal charges against players and members of the Soccsksargen Marlins if they are found guilty of fixing games, league commissioner Kenneth Duremdes said on Tuesday.

“Malaking punishment ’yan, aside the ibibigay ng NBI, they will be banned for a lifetime, they will not be allowed to join any other team. Magiging collective ang decision ng MPBL dito kung ano’ng gagawin sa mga guilty,” Duremdes said.

He said his office was alerted by a member of the team’s coaching staff; as a result the league sought the help of the NBI to probe deeper into the allegations.

Duremdes said the investigation will reveal if there is more than one team involved.

“Siya ’yung pumunta sa amin at may mga alleged evidence na ipinakita,” he said. “Siguro maghahanap pa ang NBI kung meron a sila makikita. Magiging domino naman ’yan kung sinong magsasalita riyan. Within the league lang ’yan, nandyan ang involved. We just hope ’yung finding mailabas na soon para we set an example sa kung sino mang inolved dito.”

The whistleblower, Duremdes said, implicated the whole management team and the squad itself. Only a handful of players were spared. 

Despite the suspension, the MPBL still fielded a team that will represent Soccsksargen to avoid disrupting the ongoing season.

The league is now in charge of club operations beginning with the Marlins' game at Alonte Sports Arena here on Tuesday.

They lost 115-71 to Pampanga, the Marlins’ 19th defeat in a row.

The new management has called up several free agents to fill the spots left by suspended players. Deputy Marlins coach Manuel Torralba is filling in as head coach, replacing Bong Melocoton.
 
“Sa mga fans sinisiguro namin na we have the best and we play fair every game, we owe ito the the fans, na yung pinapanood nyong game is fair,” Duremdes said

If the players implicated to the scheme are found to be innocent, Duremdes said they will welcome them back to the league.

“Kasi may mga pamilya din ’yan at livelihood nila ang paglalaro ng basketball,” he said.

For more sports coverage, visit the ABS-CBN Sports website.