Sports

Stiff penalties await erring cagers, coaches


GAB chair Baham Mitra

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) said on Monday that the offenders in the controversial Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup match could face heavy sanctions from the revocation of licenses to the filing of criminal charges.

“There are [several] possible, like suspensions and even withdrawal of licenses, plus maybe even cases if we gather enough evidence depending on our ongoing investigation,” chair Baham Mitra told the Inquirer.

The development comes on the heels of a meeting with officials of the Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP), which also seeks to punish the erring individuals in the match between Siquijor Mystics and ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu Heroes in Alcantara, Cebu, Wednesday last week, where players were seen botching wide-open layups and ridiculously muffing free-throws.

No less than the cage body’s president, Al Panlilio, instructed executive director Sonny Barrios and operations director Butch Antonio to look into the incident, which raised suspicions of game-fixing.

“[The SBP said] they will forward whatever they gather and support our investigation and move in one direction,” Mitra said.

Meanwhile, Deputy Speaker Mikee Romero said the players, coaches and officials involved in that match should suffer the severest possible penalty under the law once proven guilty of game-fixing.

Romero, who owns NorthPort in the PBA, said these players showed utter disrespect to the sport closest to the heart of Filipinos and should be fined and banned from competing in any league at all.

Bent on cracking the whip after awarding a professional license to the league, Mitra bared that the GAB is also sending its anti-illegal gambling team, which is now led by former National Capital Region Police Office deputy director Florendo Quibuyen, to Cebu sometime this week.

Betting, game-fixing and point-shaving in sports contests are punishable under Presidential Decree No. 483.

The league has since banned the Mystics and its coaching staff for life. Several members of the Heroes, on the other hand, were slapped with varying fines and suspensions. INQ


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