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PBA star Ian Sangalang, AsiaBasket MVP Jalen Robinson dragged in game-fixing charges

Ian Sangalang is among the players named in an ongoing game-fixing case in Singapore. Dennis Acosta (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

TAGUIG—PBA stars and even a newly-crowned MVP were cited in a game-fixing scandal currently on trial in Singapore.

In a report by Singapore Strait Times' Shaffiq Alkhatib, Magnolia's Ian Sangalang is the most high-profile Filipino athlete dragged into the case.

A certain Koa Wei Quan allegedly offered Sangalang US$5,000 (PHP279,352.50 as of Saturday) to throw Game 5 of the 2018 PBA Philippine Cup Finals between Magnolia and San Miguel.

The Beermen needed double overtime to beat the Hotshots, 108-99, and clinch the championship, but it was revealed during the trial that the winning margin of nine was exactly what was allegedly agreed upon between Koa and Sangalang.

Koa then allegedly offered some Blackwater players bribes on two occasions during the Commissioner's Cup that same year.

Koa told the players, whose identities were unknown, to either keep their winning margin against the Terrafirma Dyip at four points or less or just simply drop the game for PHP525,000 each.

Blackwater indeed lost to Terrafirma that night, 126-98.

He also offered the same group of Bossing players PHP1.5 million each this time to be motivated enough to help take down the Phoenix Fuel Masters, but Phoenix stunned Blackwater, 107-102.

The Bossing finished the conference in last place at 1-10, but the lone win interestingly came at the expense of Sangalang and the Hotshots.

TNT's 3x3 star Almond Vosotros is also among the names mentioned in Koa's game-fixing mess.

Koa allegedly bribed Vosotros into helping Provincial Electricity Authority arrive at certain outcomes in three Thailand Basketball Super League games also in 2018

Koa also allegedly offered a bribe to Jalen Robinson to help Vosotros in settling a 23-point final margin in the game between PEA and Thai General Equipment.

Robinson recently won the MVP award in the Sportsclick AsiaBasket International Championship after leading Kuala Lumpur to the championship.

Retired player Leo Avenido was accused of being an accomplice of Koa in the game-fixing case.

The Singaporean court, however, did not disclose who among the players involved accepted the bribe or whether a bribe was accepted at all or not.

According to Commissioner Willie Marcial, the PBA will begin its own investigation into Koa's game-fixing scandal.

Sangalang, Vosotros, and Blackwater officials are expected to be summoned to air their sides of the story.

The 32-year-old Koa is currently facing 14 counts of graft, and if he is found guilty of the charges, he will be slapped with five years in prison and a SG$100,000 fine.

Koa was the owner of Koa Motor, a car rental service that began operations in 2015 but was shut down two years later.

The court hearing will resume on May 18.

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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