MANILA, Philippines – The PBA is cracking down on ticket scalpers as the Commissioner’s Cup finals between Ginebra and Bay Area heads back to the 55,000-seater Philippine Arena for a winner-take-all Game 7 on Sunday, January 15.
Prior to Game 6 tip-off at the Araneta Coliseum, which drew 22,361 fans to see the Gin Kings and Dragons, league commissioner Willie Marcial brought to the media’s attention an entrapment operation done by the Quezon City Police District (QCPD) that saw them arrest at least three scalpers near the Big Dome.
PBA | WATCH:— Rappler Sports (@RapplerSports) January 11, 2023
PBA commissioner Willie Marcial shares to the media a QCPD video before tip-off showing the arrests of scalpers around the Araneta Coliseum before Game 6 of the Ginebra-Bay Area finals.#PBAFinals pic.twitter.com/tmQuWyFQo5
“We asked help from the QCPD, from General [Nicolas] Torre and Cybercrime Unit Captain [Michael] Bernardo with online scalping. Our people coordinated and they arrested three people in an entrapment,” Marcial said in Filipino.
“To those still scalping online, stop now. They better take care.”
However, Marcial admitted that the real battle lies online, where scalpers run rampant with GCash scams and other forms of trickery to make a quick buck off the PBA finals.
“We don’t even know where they get tickets,” he continued. “We investigated and tried to buy some. When we tried, they said ‘Pay with GCash.’ Then we’d ask for a picture of the ticket, then suddenly, they’d say they’re sold out. So that’s a scam, what they’re doing.”
Based on ticket sales in this particular finals series, where attendance never dipped below 15,000 and peaked with Game 6’s gate record, it is a safe assumption that a Sunday Game 7 featuring Ginebra will garner record-breaking fan interest, and thus, more scalping opportunities.
While a full crackdown is close to impossible, Marcial is nonetheless reminding the public that the PBA and the relevant authorities are keeping a watchful eye.
“We already arrested some people. The online cyber unit got those GCash [scammers]. We’re already warning the public.” – Rappler.com