The Siquijor Mystics has been permanently banned from competing in the 2021 Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup while several players and coaches of the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes has been slapped with fines and suspensions.
The decision was announced by the league’s COO Rocky Chan during a virtual press conference on Thursday afternoon.
The development comes after the highly unusual play of both the Mystics and Builders players during their game on Wednesday afternoon at the Alcantara Civic Center.
Coming off a morale-boosting 105-100 come-from-behind win over the Dumaguete Warriors on Saturday, the Mystics appeared uninterested in scoring points against the Heroes as they missed easy, wide-open shots including breakaway layups and free-throws. In fact, the Mystics missed all 10 of their free-throw attempts, most of which hit the backboard first before the rim. ARQ, meanwhile, made just four of their 19 attempts from the charity stripe.
The game was eventually halted at halftime because of a “power interruption” with ARQ leading, 27-13.
“We have decided as early as 9 pm on Wednesday to officially expel the Siquijor Mystics from the rest of the season of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup,” said Chan. “Also we will be suspending players from the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes who were seen doing disgraceful acts to the sport we love the most.”
Siquijor’s three games will also be forfeited. Chan also announced that none of the Mystics players and coaches would be able to set foot in the league ever again.
“We hold ourselves to a high standard. We will not tolerate these actions,” Chan emphatically said.
ARQ players Jojo Tangkay, Reed Juntilla, Monbert Arong, Dawn Ochea and Ferdinand Lusdoc were suspended for the rest of the first round and fined P15,000 each for “not playing correctly.”
Head coach Francis Auquico was also suspended for the remainder of the first round and given a fine of P30,000. Assistant coaches Jerry Abuyabor, Alex Cainglet, JC Nuyles, Hamilton Tundag and strength and conditioning coach Roger Potot were handed a fine of P20,000 each.
Meanwhile, ARQ guard Rendell Senining, was given a season-long suspension.
“We stand here to help the players and provide them with livelihoods,” said Chan. “There’s no place here for that kind of actions.”
The league will also be sending a memo to all the teams indicating that any shenanigans will merit a fine of P1 million and automatic expulsion from the tournament.
“I apologize to the fans and sponsors for this unfortunate incident. I can assure you that this was just an isolated case,” added Chan. “Huwag natin babuyin ang basketball na pinakamamahal ng Pinoy.” (JNP)