PSL: Allan Caidic reveals San Juan-1Munti game probed

PSL commissioner Allan Caidic revealed during the Senate session on the Anti-Game Fixing Act proposal that he did not like how the game between San Juan and 1Munti ended. PSL (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—PSL commissioner Allan Caidic revealed on Wednesday that he summoned the coaches of both San Juan and 1Munti after an atrocious second half during their game raised concerns from the league's end.

Caidic, along with PBA commissioner Willie Marcial and MPBL executive officer Joe Ramos, graced a session called by the Senate's sports and games and amusement committees regarding the proposed Anti-Game Fixing Act, and there, Caidic said that the PSL indeed launched a mini-probe to the said Jan. 25 game won by San Juan.

However, when asked by Senator Jinggoy Estrada, also San Juan's team owner, regarding what happened during the meeting, Caidic said that both coaches denied that there was game-fixing involved.

"Yung reasoning kasi [ng San Juan coach], napakahirap din naming i-prove na i-ban siya or what kasi parang na-frustrate daw siya sa referee. Yung isa naman, maganda raw ang depensa ng San Juan that time kaya laging 24-second violations sila," Caidic bared what transpired when he summoned the coaches.

The PBA legend, though, said that he issued a stern warning to both coaches about a heftier sanction if they were revealed to be involved in point-shaving schemes.

Both Caidic and Estrada agreed that it is indeed hard to prove that a certain game has been marred by game-fixing activities.

After a tight first half, San Juan pulled away in the third quarter after outscoring 1Munti, 22-6, to open a 64-48 lead.

However, San Juan, on track to score 80 points, only made seven points in the fourth quarter, while 1Munti only had 11 in the said period, and the game ended with San Juan winning, 71-59.

Puroy Cantimbuhan, Harold Arboleda, and Ryusei Koga, three players revealed to be part of the MPBL's "blacklist" for their involvements in certain game-fixing schemes during their stint with Bacolod last year, all made the start for 1Munti in that game with Cantimbuhan leading the team in scoring with 13 points and Arboleda and Koga each chipping in three.

Caidic acknowledged that most of the players in the MPBL's banned player list are suiting up right now in the PSL.

Caidic then admitted that he was warned by MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes about certain "red flags" before the start of the PSL season, but Philippine basketball's greatest shooter still decided to let them play in hopes that they would reform and play seriously amid the accusations.

"Ang naging patakaran sa PSL kasi noong nagsimula itong liga namin this year—kasi hindi kami pwedeng [maniwala basta] sa hearsay, so we have to give everyone equal chance—kung banned kayo sa kabilang liga, dito titignan namin kung magbabago ba kayo. Kung ganun pa rin, we'll have to recommend [a ban]," Caidic explained.

"As of now, we're monitoring them."

1Munti and San Juan played on Tuesday night at the Paco Arena with both teams meeting contrasting fates.

1Munti fell prey to San Pedro, 75-71, while San Juan manhandled the guest team College of St. Benilde, 89-66.

[Related Story: PSL: San Pedro edges 1Munti, San Juan cripples CSB, Binan stays unbeaten]

Follow him on X: @IvanSaldajeno