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GAB puts VisMin Cup 'for reevaluation', Mindanao leg postponed

Penalties may have already been slapped on Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor, but the saga stemming from their controversial game is not yet over. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Games and Amusements Board will take a closer look at the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup after the early controversy that marred the barely one week old professional basketball league.

Because of this, the Mindanao leg of the league's inaugural conference will have to be put on hold for the meantime.

"The Games and Amusements Board today suspended the Mindanao leg of the Vismin Cup and put the league for reevaluation," GAB chairman Baham Mitra said on Sunday.

The VisMin Super Cup became a hot topic over the weekend after clips of spotty plays during the Wednesday game between Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor went viral, leading to speculations that there may have been some game fixing involved.

The day after, the league announced that the Mystics have been expelled from the league, although two players, namely Migs Castellano and Michael Sereno, have been eventually spared as they were not around during the controversial match, which was called off by halftime.

Also, the Heroes' head coach, Francis Auquico, and six of his players were meted suspensions with one of them, Rendell Senining, sitting out for the rest of the tournament.

The suspensions took a heavy hit on Lapu-Lapu as they fell prey to Talisay on Saturday night.

[Related Story: Talisay survives Lapu-Lapu's gallant stand to go 4-0]

Meanwhile, Mitra said that GAB is still probing the Heroes-Mystics game, while the agency will also monitor the rest of the Visayas leg before they can decide on whether they will clear the Mindanao teams to play in Dipolog.

"We are in the process of investigation and seriously looking into the allegations of wrongdoing. The board would like to further observe the ongoing Visayas leg before giving a go signal for the other," he further said.

The Mindanao leg has been initially scheduled to tip off on May 20.

Mitra also hinted that criminal cases may be charged to the culprits of the alleged point shaving scheme.

"GAB is reviewing the official reports of its field officers in the bubble and that of the league to determine the administrative liability of the licensees as well as the possibility of proceeding with criminal charges if warranted by the circumstances," he added.

Mitra then said, "Our mandate is to ensure the integrity of professional sports/welfare of players and were doing just that."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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