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Super Cup Visayas games still on even as GAB suspends Mindanao leg

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VisMin Super Cup fallout (3:03)

Outrage came from all sectors after a controversial VisMin Super Cup game on Wednesday where the league said the Siquijor Mystics threw the match against the Lapu Lapu City Heroes. (3:03)

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) on Sunday ordered the suspension of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup Mindanao leg while also putting the league up for reevaluation in light of the controversy that arose in its ongoing Visayas tournament.

"We are in the process of investigation and seriously looking into the allegations of wrongdoing. The board would like to further observe the ongoing Visayas leg before giving a go-signal for the other," said GAB chairman Baham Mitra.

Alcantara, Cebu will continue to host the Visayas leg, with five teams remaining following Siquijor's expulsion due to game-fixing allegations.

Last Wednesday, Siquijor's match against Lapu-Lapu City saw a preposterous exchange of missed layups and free throws as they combined for a 4-for-29 clip from the line and a score of 27-13 at halftime.

The game was called off right after the end of the second quarter and an internal investigation immediately followed. Siquijor was ultimately expelled while Lapu-Lapu City's head coach and seven players were suspended.

The Visayas tournament resumed on Friday and the league still had May 20 penciled in as the start of its Mindanao leg with Dipolog City hosting nine teams, namely Basilan, Cagayan de Oro, Zamboanga City, Pagadian, Roxas, Sindangan, Ozamiz City, Valencia City, and Tawi-Tawi.

The top two teams from Visayas and Mindanao were then supposed to face off in crossover playoffs to determine the Super Cup champion. For now, however, that plan has been put on hold with GAB reviewing the official reports transmitted by its on-ground personnel inside the 'bubble' in Alcantara.

"Our mandate is to ensure the integrity of professional sports and the welfare of players and we're doing just that," furthered Mitra. Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup officials are yet to issue a statement as COO Rocky Chan told ESPN5.com in a message that they are yet to receive the official order of suspension.

Also on Sunday, Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) Pres. Al S. Panlilio expressed his full faith in GAB and its re-evaluation of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.

"The SBP expresses its support to GAB in its moves to get to the truth and accordingly penalize those who committed this great injustice to all basketball stakeholders, including corporate sponsors who go out of their way to invest financial resources to support and propagate the sport at the grassroots level," expressed Panlilio.

Panlilio said that the country's governing body for basketball will study similar incidents and perhaps slap lifetime bans on those found guilty of game-fixing, point-shaving, and other such offenses.

"Moving forward, the SBP will study how such unwanted incidents can be prevented from happening again and how those guilty of dishonestly playing the game in this deplorable fashion can be penalized, if not banned outright from engaging in the sport of basketball," explained Panlilio.