Cracking the whip | Inquirer Sports


Sen. Manny Pacquiao, the country’s boxing icon, personally filed the complaint against MPBL personalities for alleged match manipulation. —INQUIRER FILE PHOTO

The Department of Justice (DOJ) is set to file criminal charges against the people involved in the game-fixing scandal that rocked Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s (MPBL) Lakan Cup back in 2019, including one player who is a member of the Siquijor Mystics, a team expelled from the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup because of another apparent match manipulation incident.

The DOJ revealed on Friday that among those facing raps are 12 members of the Soccsksargen Marlins: Jake Diwa (14 counts) Exequiel Biteng (13); Jerome Juanico (14), Matthew Bernabe (12), Julio Magbanua (10); Abraham Santos (10), John Patrick Rabe (seven), Ryan Regalado (nine), Janus Lozada (one), Ricky Morillo (one), Joshua Alcober (one) along with the team’s head coach, Ferdinand Melocoton (one).

Alcober is a member of the Siquijor squad ejected by the VisMin league on Thursday after the team played dubiously in a match against Lapu-Lapu late Wednesday night. Sources from Cebu and Manila told the Inquirer late Thursday that Siquijor was apparently trying to cover a spread in quarter scoring to favor certain bettors, thus the obvious missed shots during the game.

‘A bad cycle’

As this developed, a player from the Lapu-Lapu squad in the VisMin league validated the claims of Inquirer sources saying the Heroes dragged themselves into the mess only after it became apparent what the Mystics were planning during the match, which was halted at halftime and the score pegged at 27-13. “Going into the second quarter, that’s when we felt that the game was changing for the worse; our coaches wanted to talk to their coaches and tell the opposing team’s players to play properly,” Rendell Senining told former University of the Philippines standout Mikee Reyes in Filipino in an interview aired in the latter’s YouTube channel. “It’s a bad cycle, it’s disrespectful to the game and personally I love the game.”

According to sources, Siquijor made it apparent that they were intentionally falling into a huge deficit, a ploy that Lapu-Lapu team owner Jason Arquisola said the Mystics did not bother masking.

“Their players kept egging our players to build the lead further and would even wink at our bench whenever they missed a shot or a free throw,” Arquisola said in a Facebook post.

The sources further said that when Lapu-Lapu figured out what was going on, the Heroes decided to miss their own shots so that Siquijor would not get what it was hoping for.

Among those caught in widely-circulated videos flubbing shots was Senining, who missed his two free throws by taking shots with his left and right hands. But the Lapu-Lapu player said he didn’t do it out of disrespect for the game, but only to thwart Siquijor’s plans.

“My teammates and I were offended [by Siquijor’s actions] and they really love the game,” Senining said. “When we realized what they were doing, we [decided to do the same to them].”Senining added that the Heroes were shouting from the bench calling for a stoppage of play.“[W]e didn’t handle the situation right, we handled it poorly,” he added. “But it was never in our intention to mock the game, never our intention to fix the game or whatever.”

Point-shaving machinations

The DOJ’s charges against the MPBL personalities comes at a perfect time as it sets the stage for yet another cracking of the whip on the attempted point-shaving machinations in the VisMin league.

Also being charged are Quezon City Capitals coaching staff Serafin Matias (seven counts), Sonny Uy (nine) and the alleged mastermind, a certain Chinese national identified only as “Mr. Sung” (14), together with his cohorts Kein Zhu (three) and Emma Meng (one).

No less than MPBL’s founding chair, Sen. Manny Pacquiao, and commissioner Kenneth Duremdes lodged the complaint in November of 2019, following “strange patterns” in Soccsksargen’s games. Pacquiao later added that players received commissions ranging from P20,000 to P50,000 for rigging games.

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

According to the resolution released by the Office of the Prosecutor General, 17 counts of betting and multiple counts of point-shaving were dismissed for insufficiency of evidence.

Charges against Kevin Espinosa, EJ Avila, Nino Dionisio and Nice Ilagan, who was included in the original complaint two years ago, were also dismissed.


Read Next

Don’t miss out on the latest news and information.

Subscribe to INQUIRER PLUS to get access to The Philippine Daily Inquirer & other 70+ titles, share up to 5 gadgets, listen to the news, download as early as 4am & share articles on social media. Call 896 6000.

For feedback, complaints, or inquiries, contact us.


Source link

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *


Trending Now Brazil vs Argentina Copa America Final

The Copa America Final is just around the corner. Two of football world’s celebrated teams -Brazil and Argentina – will face each other in the final of the coveted event. The final will be played at Estadio de Maracana in Brazil. Even though the final is between the two South American countries, it is bound […]

Read More
Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA
Latest News

Battlefield 2042 Specialists & launch maps revealed By EA

After months of speculation, EA and DICE have finally unveiled Battlefield 2042, with the reveal trailer already live and a gameplay one set to premiere on Sunday, during Microsoft’s E3 conference. There may be additional information released at that point but for now we already know quite a bit about the new maps and the Specialists, 2042’s version of the […]

Read More
UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering
Latest News

UK Travel Green List & Rules for entering

Red list countries and territories What you must do if you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the 10 days before you arrive in England. If you have been in a country or territory on the red list in the last 10 days you will only be allowed to […]

Read More