GAB gives green light for VisMin Super Cup’s Mindanao leg
Preparations for the tournament resumes; tip off moved to May 30
CEBU CITY, Philippines — Good news awaits for the Mindanaoan basketball fans as the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) gives the clearance for the resumption for the preparation of the Mindanao leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup.
The GAB officials and the officials of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup announced it on Monday evening via an online meeting. From May 20th, the tip-off featuring 10 teams is moved to May 30. Also, the official host of the Mindanao leg will be announced in the coming days. It means that Dipolog City, the initial host of the Mindanao leg is not yet finalized.
“The holding of Mindanao Leg, which will strictly adhere to the ‘No License, No Play’ policy, is conditioned on the submission of the regulatory requirements, such as health screening, drug testing, and related documents, as well as on continuing adherence to protocols and strict supervision of the games,” said GAB Chairman Abraham Kahlil “Baham” Mitra.
The Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup started its inaugural season in April 9, 2021 in Alcantara, southwest Cebu under a bubble set up.
Unfortunately, the very promising league which was supposed to be an advocate to provide livelihood for basketball players in the south was hounded with game fixing allegations between two teams; the ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes and the Siquijor Mystics.
The controversy went viral and shook the Philippine basketball scene. It led to multiple suspensions, hefty fines, and the perpetual banishment of the Siquijor Mystics.
GAB sent its GAB’s Anti-Illegal Gambling Unit (AIGU) to Cebu to investigate the controversy further. League officials submitted to the GAB’s AIGU, through the PNP of Alcantara, Cebu, their joint affidavits stating the results of their thorough review and investigation.
Mitra and Commissioners Eduard Trinidad and Mario Masanguid, on the other hand, took note of the League’s initiatives to swiftly address the issue and to enforce stricter rules.
“We are grateful to the league’s officials for their sincerity to undertake the needed reforms for the protection and welfare of professional basketball, the players, and the public,” said Mitra.
The league also tapped a three-man independent investigative body to look into the controversial game. The panel is composed of a long-time basketball administrator, a veteran basketball coach, and a FIBA rules expert. Its findings and recommendations are now being finalized and shall be released by the league in the coming days.
“Both GAB and the league knew the challenges when the games were launched – health protocols and game-manipulation being on top of the list. We are just glad that we are able to move forward, thanks to a large part on the professionalism of league management and the sacrifices of our personnel on the field who joined the bubble as supervisors,” said Mitra.
The Mindanao leg of the Chooks-to-Go Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup is expected to be equally excited as the Visayas leg where the KCS Computer Specialists Mandaue City staged a huge upset beating the MJAS-Zenith Talisay City Aquastars, 2-1, in their Best-of-Three Finals Series that capped off last Sunday, May 9, 2021.
Currently, there are 10 teams listed in the Mindanao leg. They are the Basilan Peace Riders, Cagayan De Oro Rafters, Zamboanga Los Valientes, Pagadian Explorers, Roxas Vanguards, Sindagan Saints, and teams from Tawi-Tawi; Valencia City, Bukidnon and Ozamis.
Players like former MPBL MVP John Wilson and ex-PBA veterans Gabby Espinas, Larry Rodriguez, Mac Cardona, Jayjay Helterbrand are among the top-rated players expected to see action.
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