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VisMin Cup cleared to push through with Mindanao leg

Gerald Anderson's pro debut is finally happening. Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas/MPBL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--The Mindanao leg of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup is finally happening.

Games and Amusements Board chairman Baham Mitra confirmed to Dugout Philippines on Monday night that his agency has cleared the league to push through with the Mindanao games.

The said leg had been "suspended" momentarily by GAB following the investigation regarding the controversial Visayas leg between Siquijor and Lapu-Lapu which led to the expulsion of the former from the VisMin Super Cup and the suspension of key players from the latter.

But in a joint statement between GAB and the VisMin Cup Mitra relayed to media outfits later in the night, the postponement is now lifted after seeing that the league has quickly resolved the game fixing allegations stemming from the said game.

One of the things the league did, according to the joint statement, was putting up an independent investigation group "composed of a long-time basketball administrator, a veteran basketball coach, and a FIBA rules expert."

The results of the investigation have since been reported to the GAB Anti-Illegal Gambling Unit with the help of the local police in Alcantara, Cebu.

"We are grateful to the league's officials for their sincerity to undertake the needed reforms for the protection and welfare of professional basketball, the players, and the public," Mitra said.

He added, “Both GAB and the league knew the challenges when the games were launched–health protocols and game-manipulation being on top of the list. We are just glad that we are able to move forward, thanks to a large part on the professionalism of league management and the sacrifices of our personnel on the field who joined the bubble as supervisors.” 

Meanwhile, the Mindanao leg will now start on May 30.

Eight teams, namely Basilan, Zamboanga City, Zamboanga Del Sur, Roxas, Pagadian, Ozamiz, Iligan, and a club backed by Brew Authoritea featuring actor and former MPBL star Gerald Anderson, will dispute the Mindanao pennant.

As previously said by VisMin Cup chief operating officer Rocky Chan during the April 29 edition of the Usapang Sports Forum, the league is now looking at Tubod, which has become Mindanao's basketball hub considering the number of PBA games hosted by the said town in recent years, as the leg bubble host.

"The holding of Mindanao leg, which will strictly adhere to the ‘No License, No Play’ policy, is conditioned on the submission of the regulatory requirements, such as health screening, drug testing and related documents, as well as on continuing adherence to protocols and strict supervision of the games," Mitra further said.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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