The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) has launched its own probe of the controversial Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup contest between Lapu-Lapu City and Siquijor that transpired on Wednesday.
The VisMin Super Cup leadership concluded that the Mystics threw the game against the Heroes and the league has already moved to expel Siquijor and suspend many players from Lapu-Lapu City. The GAB will still pursue its own investigation and could possibly hand out further punishment.
"As to the players' license revocation, while we respect the league rules, we will base our decision on the report from our own people on the ground and the move of VisMin but giving all parties concerned due process," GAB chairman Baham Mitra said in a statement released shortly after the league expelled the entire Mystics team and suspended some Lapu-Lapu players.
As the regulatory body for professional sports in the Philippines, the GAB has the power to revoke pro players' licenses to play.
GAB Chairman Baham Mitra said the Heroes-Mystics game will be the topic of a board meeting on Thursday afternoon, once GAB sports regulators inside the bubble in Alcantara, Cebu submit their findings.
According to a press release by the league, the game was halted at halftime due to a "power interruption" and was postponed to a later date. Lapu-Lapu was ahead 27-13.
"We would like to remind our players that a license to practice profession is not a right, but a concession and a privilege granted by the government," said Mitra in a statement.
"Now, if they fail to abide by the rules, the government has the right to step in to impose necessary sanctions or revoke such a privilege," he added.
Eyebrows were raised on social media as clips emerged showing dubious shot selection from the players. The two squads combined to only make 4 of 29 free throw attempts, with Siquijor muffing all 10. One clip showed Lapu-Lapu's Dawn Ochea missing terribly on his first two free throws, with the ball only hitting the left side of the backboard. His third attempt bricked.
In another bizarre sequence, Rendell Senining shot one free throw with his left hand, while the second was launched using his right. Both shots clanked off the rim.
In addition, one player missed a wide-open fastbreak layup . Coincidentally, the game, which was livestreamed on Facebook, could not be found anymore on their official page. The league, which is in its inaugural season, just tipped off their first game on April 9.
Mitra explained that while the GAB does believe in self-regulation, he mentioned that the board is ready to intervene if they believe that "integrity is at stake."
"Officials, coaches and players should act as professionals or lose their licenses. Shape up or ship out!" said Mitra in a statement released earlier.
Meanwhile, the league postponed its Thursday triple header pending resolution of the issue.