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Siquijor Mystics kicked out of VisMin Cup; Lapu-Lapu players hit with suspensions, fines

The Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup dropped the hammer on the Mystics. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup pulled the executioner's ax on the Siquijor Mystics after their game against the Lapu-Lapu Heroes on Wednesday was marred with allegations of game fixing.

League chief operating officer Rocky Chan said on Thursday that Siquijor has been kicked out of the league, while some Lapu-Lapu players have been handed suspensions and fines for their roles in a series of dubious events to close the second quarter of their game.

"We have decided as early as 9 p.m. on Wednesday, six hours after the game, to officially expel the Siquijor Mystics from the rest of the season of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup. Also, we will be suspending players from the ARQ-Lapu-Lapu Builders who have seen doing disgraceful acts to the sport that we love the most," Chan said in a news conference at the Visayas leg bubble at the Alcantara Civic Center.

He then said that the decision was made "after a thorough review of the game by our technical committee together with the assistance of the Games and Amusements Board."

This means Coach Joel Palapal and his coaching staff and players Joshua Alcober, Ryan Buenafe, Vincent Tangcay, Jan Penaflor, Gene Belleza, Michael Calomot, Erick Rodriguez, Jopet Quiro, Isagani Gooc, Miguel Castellano, Juan Aspiras, Peter Buenafe, and Michael Sereno are now out of the league.

Chan also said that they "will not be able to set foot again in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup."

"They won't be able to join any of the teams that are under the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup," he further said.

Also, the outcomes of their two previous matches will be scratched off the records.

Siquijor got blown out on Friday night against Mandaue, 46-66, but bounced back to beat Dumaguete, 105-100, the night after.

Chan then warned all the teams that future offenses of point shaving schemes will merit stiff penalties.

"We will be fining teams who do the same action in the future PHP1 million along with the expulsion from the league," he further said, adding that a memorandum regarding this resolution will be given to the rest of the field.

Chan added, "We will not tolerate this kind of actions.... Huwag nating babuyin ang basketball na pinakamamahal ng Pinoy."

On the other hand, Jojo Tangkay, Reed Juntilla, Monbert Arong, Dawn Ochea, Ferdinand Lusdoc, and Rendell Senining were each slapped with suspensions for what was deemed as intentionally sloppy plays against the Mystics.

Tangkay, Juntilla, Arong, and Ochea were each slapped with suspensions until the end of the first round, equivalent to three games.

Meanwhile, Senining, who became viral for changing his free throw stances, is suspended for the rest of the Visayas leg.

The said players were then slapped with PHP15,000 fines each.

Coach Francis Auquico has been meted with the same three-game ban given to Tangkay, Juntilla, Arong, Ochea, and Lusdoc, but he will pay PHP30,000.

The rest of the Heroes' coaching staff have been fined PHP20,000 each.

Chan then said that future cases of apparent game fixing activities shall be charged with a PHP1 million fine and expulsion from the league.

"This is a clear statement of the VisMin Super Cup: any deliberate action that any of these teams or players is not tolerated in this league. If ginagawa niyo ito sa ibang liga, huwag niyong gawin dito sa VisMin Super Cup," he further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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