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Lapu-Lapu Heroes owner rues missed chance to deal with Mystics situation better

The Heroes still did something wrong on Wednesday. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The owner of the Lapu-Lapu franchise in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup admitted that the team should have not done what led to the sanction slapped on the coaching staff and some of its players for the apparent intentional misses in their game against Siquijor.

"I realize though, that our team could have dealt with the matter better," Jason Arquisola said in a statement on Thursday, right after the league announced that Heroes coach Francis Auquico and six players were slapped with suspensions.

Arquisola, however, added that he cannot blame the Lapu-Lapu squad for letting their emotions come into play.

"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," he further said.

Arquisola then said that the Mystics had been insisting on the Heroes to continue their pummeling.

"As evidenced by the suspension, the truth has come out. And this statement intends to shed more light into the matter. From the get-go, it was clear to our coaches and players that the opposing team had no intention of competing during that game. 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 quipped.

Despite this, Arquisola maintained that what his players did was wrong and apologized on behalf of them.

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

Arquisola then thanked the Games and Amusement Board "for the swift and decisive action" regarding the Lapu-Lapu-Siquijor match.

He then said," I denounce any and all shenanigans involving the game of basketball. Our team came here to play, to win. And it’s such a shame that some people have different priorities other than winning."

For his team, Arquisola vowed, "Moving forward, I also want to assure everyone that the ARQ Builders–Lapu Lapu City Heroes is committed to one thing and one thing only—to winning the title. And we will do so to the best of our abilities and with the highest standards of sportsmanship and decorum.  We will continue to work with the league to make sure that the selfishness of some will not tarnish the game that we love."

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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