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MPBL TEAM EXEC HAILS PACMAN?S LEGAL ACTION VS. GAME FIXERS


PhilBoxing.com




PASAY CITY ? Team owner of Davao Occidental Tigers hailed the filing of cases by Sen. Manny Pacquiao against 21 persons, including 11 players from the SOCCSKSARGEN team, allegedly involved in game fixing and points shaving in the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL).

Sen. Pacquiao earlier requested the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to conduct a probe on the reported game irregularities in MPBL perpetrated by a suspected syndicate led by a Chinese national identified only as ?Mr. Sung.?

This after several individuals came forward and reported the game irregularities.

?I offered a P.5 million reward to anybody who is willing to testify. Somebody came forward then the NBI took over and continued the investigation,? Pacquiao claimed.

Finally, on Tuesday, the NBI filed the formal complaints before the Department of Justice against three Chinese nationals, team managers of two MPBL teams and the head coach of the SOCCKSARGEN team.

Charged before the Department of Justice for violating Presidential Decree 483 which penalizes betting, game fixing and point shaving in sports contests were Chinese national ?Mr. Sung,? the alleged mastermind of the illegal operations; a certain ?Kein? and ?Emma? who served as go-between the syndicate and the teams in the league.

Sung was charged with 17 counts of betting, point shaving and two counts of game fixing.

Included in the complaints were SOCCSKSARGEN team manager Kevin Espinosa (17 counts of point shaving, two counts of game fixing), Quezon City Capitals team manager Ni?o Dionisio (11 counts of point shaving, 1 count of game fixing) and SOCCKSARGEN coach Ferdinand Melocoton (11 counts of point shaving and 1 count of game fixing).

MPBL has taken over the SOCCSKSARGEN franchise and renamed it Sarangani Province.

MPBL management has also suspended the players and team officials involved in the shenanigans.

Pacquiao added there is still a continuing investigation to determine the identities of other personalities involved in the illegal operations.

Meanwhile, Claudine Bautista, team owner of Davao Occidental Tigers, hailed Pacquiao for taking legal action against the individuals involved.

?We are so happy that Sen. Pacquiao took the cudgel for us team owners. Grave injustice is being committed not only against the basketball fans but including team owners,? Bautista said.

Bautista is appealing to MPBL management and Sen. Pacquiao to dig deeper to determine whether some referees are involved in game fixing and points shaving.

?We are fairness especially in the officiating. I believe, some referees are involved in the irregularities. We want them to be penalized to uphold fair play in MPBL,? Bautista added.

Bautista claimed that as early as last year, she already had personally informed Pacquiao about the game fixing and points shaving in the league.

?Our players personally confided to me that they were approached by those people but they turned it down. I immediately relayed the information to Sen. Pacquiao and I am so grateful that, finally, he initiated legal action against them,? Bautista revealed.

Brando Viernesto, MPBL legal counsel, warned other players and team owners to shun the illegal operations of this syndicate.

?We mean business here. We will not allow anybody to do anything illegal just to earn money at the expense of MPBL,? Viernesto said.

Other respondents in the case were Serafin Matias (11 counts of point shaving and one count of game fixing), EJ Avila (11 counts of point shaving and one count of game fixing), Nice Ilagan (eight counts of point shaving), and Sonny Uy (six counts of point shaving and two counts of game fixing).

MPBL players included in the charge sheet were Jake Diwa (17 counts of game fixing and two counts of game fixing), Exe Biteng (17 counts of game fixing two counts of game fixing), Jerome Juanico (16 counts of point shaving and two counts of game fixing), Matthew Bernabe (15 counts of point shaving and two counts of game fixing), Julio Magbanua (13 counts of point shaving, two counts of game fixing), Abraham Santos (13 counts of point shaving, two counts of game fixing), John Patrick Rabe (12 counts of point shaving and two counts of game fixing), Ryan Regalado (12 counts of point shaving and two counts of game fixing), Janus Lozada (12 counts of point shaving), Joshua Alcober (12 counts of point shaving).


Click here to view a list of other articles written by Aquiles Z. Zonio.


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