Philippine basketball

PBA to launch probe as players, teams involved in game-fixing by Singaporean

Delfin Dioquino

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PBA to launch probe as players, teams involved in game-fixing by Singaporean

SCANDAL. Magnolia big man Ian Sangalang is embroiled in a game-fixing controversy.

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A certain Koa Wei Quan faces graft charges in Singapore after being accused of influencing games in the PBA and the Thailand Basketball League

MANILA, Philippines – The PBA will launch a probe as its players and teams were allegedly offered bribes by a Singaporean businessman to fix games from April to July 2018.

According to a report by major Singapore broadsheet The Straits Times, a certain Koa Wei Quan faces 14 graft charges before the State Courts in Singapore after being accused of influencing games in the PBA and Thailand Basketball League (TBL) amounting to nearly $70,000 in bribes.

“We’ll investigate. We’ll look closely into the allegations,” said PBA commissioner Willie Marcial in Filipino. “We’ll talk to the players. It will be a long process.”

Koa allegedly offered a bribe of $5,000 to Magnolia big man Ian Sangalang and worked with former PBA player Leo Avenido and a certain Sergei Bien Orillo to arrange for the Hotshots to lose Game 5 of the 2018 Philippine Cup finals against the San Miguel Beermen by at least 9 points.

The Beermen hacked out a 108-99 double overtime win as they finished off the Hotshots to capture the All-Filipino crown.

Sangalang recorded 11 points, 5 assists, 3 rebounds, 1 steal, and 1 block against a game-high 8 turnovers in the loss, with three of his turnovers coming in second overtime.

While in Singapore, Koa is said to have linked up with Avenido and Orillo again and offered unknown players from the Blackwater Elite a bribe of over P2 million to fix games against the Columbian Dyip and the Phoenix Fuel Masters in their first two games in the 2018 Commissioner’s Cup.

Blackwater lost both matches and finished last in the conference with a 1-10 record.

PBA 3×3 and Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 star Almond Vosotros is also embroiled in the game-fixing scandal.

Court records showed Vosotros – who played in the TBL for Mono Thewphaingarm and PEA – was offered a total of $3,700 to fix three separate games in a span of two weeks.

Koa, whose case has been adjourned to May 18, faces up to five years of imprisonment and a fine of $100,000 if convicted of graft. –

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Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.