Mendoza: ‘Basketbust’ for the ages

Al Mendoza
·2 min read

RENDELL Senining missed a free throw using his left hand. Fine? Not really.

He is a right-hander. Naturally, he’d miss the shot. He’s not God.

But with Senining using his right hand, he’d still miss it.

That was expected.

Missing both was custom-made. Part of a grand design: Fix the game.

Senining’s a player for LapuLapu City that was ordained to play voodoo-voodoo with Siquijor in the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup in Alcantara, Cebu on Wednesday.

Dawn Ochea, Senining’s teammate, did his thing too: Miss his two free throws by hitting the side of the rim twice.

A Siquijor player chimed in, getting his own stint at infamy: He aimed for the board—twice, too -- from the line.

It takes two to tango.

To say that Lapu-Lapu and Siquijor were obviously bent on fixing the game would be sports’ understatement of the year.

Was that Siquijor Mystic possessed when he aimed for the board? You tell me. Was that one that deliberately missed an uncontested layup witchcraft-inspired?

This was a “basketbust” for the ages. Shame on them.

Lapu-Lapu’s players being called Heroes is definitely a misnomer. Senining a hero? He could get killed if Lapulapu were around.

While Siquijor missed all of its 10 free throws, Lapu-Lapu went 4-of-19 from the stripe in the first half “won” by the Heroes after they took a 23-5 lead in the first quarter.

Officials finally stopped the circus at the half after Siquijor “rallied” with an 8-4 “blast” in the second period.

Sadly, Senining and Ochea will form part of basketball’s crime of the century. Career in tatters. Future uncertain.

So palpable was game fixing’s evil face that many from both sides were seemingly into it, forcing tournament officials to impose punishment almost wholesale.

Siquijor was expelled for the remainder of the season, its coaches and players barred from joining other teams in the league. Lapu-Lapu’s players “disgracing the sport” will be suspended, according to tournament top gun Rocky Chan.

A deeper probe is in order as I’m sure not all of the players and coaches from both sides were involved.

Money is man’s best friend, too, yes. But when it’s ill-driven unto one’s pocket, as in via game fixing, goodbye, honey pie.