Senining: It was never our intention to disrespect the game
CEBU CITY, Philippines—Cebuano cager Rendell Senining, the player who received the harshest penalty and the most criticism online for his actions during a controversial Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup game, has finally spoken up.
Appearing as a guest in the popular basketball-themed YouTube channel of ex-UP Maroon and TNT Katropa Mikee Reyes, the 25-year old Senining, who was playing for the ARQ Builders-Lapu-Lapu team, aired his side of that bizarre game that resulted to multiple suspensions, fines, and the perpetual expulsion of the entire Siquijor Mystics squad.
“It is hard for me to be silent, knowing that I have my side to tell,” said the former National University Bulldog and University of San Jose-Recoletos Jaguar.
It is Senining’s now infamous missed freethrows that is going viral on social media and receiving much criticism from netizens, including players from the Philippine Basketball Association (PBA).
LOOK: These are the reactions from several PBA and UAAP players from their Instagram Stories regarding the "game-fixing"…
An emotional Senining said he had not slept since this issue broke out because of the trauma and stress it has brought to him.
The controversial game between the Heroes and the Mystics was held last Wednesday, April 14, 2021, at the Alcantara Civic Center in Alcantara town, southwestern Cebu.
That bizarre game didn’t finish as organizers stopped the game at halftime. The Heroes were holding a commanding 27-13 lead, when the game was officially stopped by the officials due to “power interruption.”
During the interview, Senining detailed all the things that transpired in that controversial game that marred the promising league, barely a week after it started.
“That game was unknown for me. Never in my life that I was put in that kind of situation. I didn’t know what to do. I was questioning the players on our team, ‘what was going on?” Senining said.
Six players from the Heroes were meted with suspensions and fines but Senining received the harshest penalty. He is officially suspended for the rest of the first conference of the league. On top of that, Senining has to pay P15,000.
Senining denied rumors that there was game-fixing involved in that bizarre game that also saw players from the opposing team miss easy shots. These incidents were screen captured by some netizens.
“Walang game-fixing na nangyari. Ang team namin, knowing boss Jason Arquisola, the Ateneo coaches ko, they all come from the Ateneo program, know we’re here to play the game right,” he said.
“For me personally, it is highly unlikely for our players to do that stuff it is because yung boss namin provides us all we need. Generous yung boss namin, there is no reason for us to do these things.”
He did say, though, that the situation they were facing could have been handled differently.
“Siguro we’re not perfect. Siguro bago pa kasi kami dito, we didn’t handle the situation right, we handled it poorly,” he added. “But it was never in our intention na ibastos ang game. never our intention to fix the game or whatever.”
Senining said Siquijor was playing oddly that day as players from that team intentionally missed shots and didn’t even play defense.
In fact, the Mystics scored just five points in the first period and eight points in the second for just 13 in the entire first half.
According to Senining, their actions, which included those missed freethrows, was out of frustration, saying they just wanted to get back at Siquijor, who, for them, was “disrespecting the game.”
“All I know is they (Siquijor Mystics) disrespected the game that I love personally. It was a sad sight to see and it will haunt me forever, knowing many people knew me that I love the game of basketball,” he added.
Aside from Senining, his teammate Dawn Ochea was also seen missing easy layups.
Due to frustration and utter disgust on their opponents, Senining said that he and his teammates, without the knowledge of their coaches, planned to botch the game to get even with their opponents.
“Napansin namin na ang iba ng body language nila. I am a competitive player. In order for a competitive player to grow, kailangan competitive din yung kalaban. Hindi ako sanay na kunyari nag dedepensa sila and they just let me drive by. It’s something na very unlikely, a disrespect for people who want to play basketball,” said Senining.
“Kami ng mga teammates ko, na offend na din kami. What they are trying to serve us, we just served it back to them, that is why we missed shots.”
Still, Senining apologized for all that has happened.
“I’m really sorry if nabastos man kayo sa nagawa ko. I hope one day you can forgive me. You know sometimes in life, di tayo maka control ng emotions natin and it gets the best of us,” he said while trying to hold back his tears.
He also had a thing to say to those bashing him on the Internet.
“Kung ano man yung mga sinasabi against sa akin, I forgive all of you guys. So I also apologize sa lahat including the pros na nakakita ng video sa laro namin. It was a very bad sight to see.”
“I have to face the consequences of the action. I’m looking forward to become a better version of myself.”
Senining is hoping that VisMin Super League officials will give him a second chance and allow him to rejoin his team this conference.
WATCH: Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup COO Rocky Chan issues a statement regarding the alleged game-fixing controversy in the league.
“I appeal and ask for forgiveness from the league, to Rocky Chan to the GAB (Games and Amusements Board), the officials in the venue. We know the hard work and sacrifices you did to put up this tournament.”
“Ayaw namin sayangin yung effort ‘nyong lahat. I am appealing na ma reconsider ang decision nyo. I will just pray and we will prove you wrong na hindi kami ganung klase na tao. Starting from now on, we’re gonna do things right.”
Watch the interview here:
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