GAB suspends Mindanao leg of VisMin Cup, SBP decries ‘ugly display’
MANILA, Philippines — The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) suspended the Mindanao leg of the VisMin Super Cup on Sunday, hoping to focus on the ongoing Visayas phase while leaving no stone unturned in its probe into the farcical incident that rocked the sporting community last week.
“We are in the process of investigation and seriously looking into the allegations of wrongdoing,” the regulatory body said in a statement.
“The board would like to further observe the ongoing Visayas leg before giving a go-signal to the (Mindanao leg).”
The move comes on the heels of the show of farce in the match between the Siquijor Mystics and the Lapu-Lapu City Heroes last Wednesday that rocked the basketball community.
The league’s Mindanao leg was supposed to kick off on May 20 in Dipolog City.
The GAB wields the power to grant and revoke professional status to leagues, which in a way also opened up opportunities for athletes to earn a living despite the disruptions brought on by the coronavirus pandemic.
The VisMin Super Cup is currently the only pro basketball tournament that is operational in the land, as the Philippine Basketball Association has yet to iron out logistical kinks with regards to its 46th season.
Baham Mitra, who chairs the GAB, also said that his team is currently reviewing the official reports from his staff in the league’s bubble in Alcantara, Cebu, to determine whether revocation of licenses as filing of criminal charges are “warranted by the circumstances.”
Mitra told the Inquirer on Saturday that his team is hoping to touch base with Samahang Basketball ng Pilipinas (SBP), which also hopes to sanction individuals involved in the farcical contest, which happened just four days into the tournament.
Al Panlilio, the SBP president, said in a web show that same day that he is aghast over the incident.
The national federation said on Sunday that it “condemns, in the strongest terms, the travesty.”
“The SBP took the initial step of looking into the incident by meeting virtually with the Tournament Technical Group, who are SBP ID-carrying personnel,” the cage body said in a statement.
“In the game, the referees and the Technical Head Group conferred with the GAB representative on the ground, which led to the decision to put an end to the game at halftime so as not to prolong the ugly display of the shenanigans taking place on the court.”
“The SBP expresses its support to GAB in its moves to get to the truth and accordingly penalize those who committed this great injustice to all basketball stakeholders, including corporate sponsors who go out of their way to invest financial resources to support and propagate the sport at the grassroots level,” the statement added.