Philippine basketball

VisMin Super Cup expels Siquijor Mystics, fines Lapu Lapu players

JR Isaga
VisMin Super Cup expels Siquijor Mystics, fines Lapu Lapu players

BANNED. The Siquijor Mystics players, bannered by Ryan Buenafe, can no longer suit up for any team in the league.

Photo from Chooks-to-Go

'We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard. Thus, we will not tolerate these actions,' says league chief operating officer Rocky Chan

VisMin Super Cup wasted no time and officially expelled the Siquijor Mystics from the league and sanctioned several ARQ-Lapu Lapu Heroes players and coaches on Thursday, April 15, one day after their controversial game.

The Mystics are composed of Ryan Buenafe, Joshua Alcober, Juan Aspiras, Gene Belleza, Peter Buenafe, Michael Calomot, Isagani Gooc, Cedric Penaflor, Jopet Quiro, Frederick Rodriguez, Vincent Tangcay, Miguel Castellano, Michael Sereno, and head coach Joel Palapal and his staff.

In addition to banning all Siquijor players and coaches after an investigation by the Games and Amusements Board (GAB), league chief operating officer Rocky Chan has levied a P15,000 fine on 6 Lapu Lapu players with varying suspensions as well.

Monbert Arong, Reed Juntilla, Ferdinand Lusdoc, Dawn Ochea, and Jojo Tangkay have been suspended for the rest of the first round, while Rendell Senining has been banned for the rest of the tournament.

Lapu Lapu head coach Francis Auquico has been handed a P30,000 fine while the rest of his staff have been fined P20,000 each.

Chan revealed that the decision was finalized as early as 9 pm last Wednesday, April 14, just a few hours after the Siquijor-Lapu Lapu game was canceled. The league has since forfeited all Siquijor games.

“We hold ourselves and each of our players to a high standard. Thus, we will not tolerate these actions,” he said.

“We will enforce this by releasing a memorandum to all member teams that we will be fining teams who do the same actions in the future P1 million along with expulsion from the league.”

The Chooks-to-Go-backed upstart pro league has only been in official competition for 4 days in a bubble setup in Alcantara, Cebu prior to the alleged fixed game that went viral on social media almost immediately after its cancellation.

Six teams are left following Siquijor’s expulsion, namely Lapu Lapu, MJAS Zenith Talisay, KCS Mandaue, Tabogon, Dumaguete, and Tubigon Bohol.

“We would also like to apologize to our fans, our sponsors, and to the entire basketball community for this unfortunate incident,” Chan continued.

“The goal of VisMin Super Cup is to serve as an inspiration for the youth in our region to play the game we love the most. We assure this incident is an isolated case.”

VisMin games are scheduled to resume on Friday, April 16. – Rappler.com

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