GAB issues cease and desist order vs Filbasket
MANILA, Philippines–The Games and Amusements Board has issued a cease-and-desist order against the just-concluded Filipino Basketball League (Filbasket), due to the absence of necessary permits and licenses based on the records of the professional sports regulatory body.
The order dated November 12 stemmed from the official report of the GAB Professional Sports Division and was issued for alleged violations of Presidential Decree No. 871, or the law placing professional basketball under the supervision and regulation of GAB.
The report added the Filbasket is covered by the Joint Administrative Order drafted and executed by the Philippine Sports Commission, the Department of Health and the GAB as guidepost for the conduct of sports during the ongoing COVID-19 health crisis.
The league wrapped up its inaugural FilBasket Subic Championship Monday night where AICC Manila clinched the title over San Juan, 72-68, in a best-of-three series held at the Subic Gym in Zambales.
Filbasket founder and director Jose Antonio Reyes appealed the GAB directive before the Office of the President on Nov. 21 or 72 hours after receiving the stoppage order on Nov. 18.
According to the GAB report, Filbasket’s tournament is a professional sports competition that required approval from GAB as the participating team pays its players sums of money for their involvement in said tourney.
Under the GAB-PSC Guidelines on the Definitions of Professional Athlete and Professional Sports or Competitions, “professional sports or competitions refer to individual or team sports, games, contests, bouts, tournaments or competitions where the participating athletes are paid or given other forms of compensation as salary or prize for participation.’’
Filbasket responded to the show cause order issued by GAB that it is an amateur league like collegiate leagues UAAP and NCAA, and denied that the league aims to operate for profit and provide livelihood to players/athletes, coaches, team staff members and league officials, among others.
The league further claimed that it has relied on a different DOH circular and proceeded directly to the regional office of DOH.
To avoid a possible stoppage of the games, Filbasket has elevated the issue to Malacanang by filing an administrative appeal from the order of the GAB.