PBA lauds VisMin Cup for quick action on game-fixing

In light of recent allegations of game-fixing that marred the upstart Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, commissioner Willie Marcial re-emphasized Tuesday that the PBA already has measures in place to curtail the nefarious deed.

Speaking at the Philippine Sportswriters Association (PSA) Forum webcast, Marcial praised the quick action of VisMin Cup organizers who expelled the Siquijor Mystics just a day after their dubious actions against Lapu-Lapu City.

Marcial added that a similar instance had already happened in the PBA D-League, wherein Mila's Lechon was given the boot for losing games by absurd margins, allegedly in line with gambling odds.

"We removed the team, we suspended the players," explained the league executive, adding that several individuals from the aforementioned team were given lifetime bans from the development league.

The league also issued a warning to other D-League players and coaches following a string of games with large winning margins.

Of course, Marcial made it clear that due process remains in place for game-fixing allegations. As such, whenever he sees a player underperforming, the first thing he does is ask that player about falling short.

"I talk to the players if they have an off-night. I tell them, 'Why did you play like that?' 'Comm, it was because of this.' I talk to them personally," he explained.

Since the time of his predecessor Chito Narvasa, agents from the National Bureau of Investigation have been manning the sidelines as well to check for possible suspicious activity.

"We are not lacking in vigilance," emphasized the always amiable league chieftain.

Moreover, Marcial said the Games and Amusements Board (GAB) and Samahang Basketbol ng Pilipinas (SBP) are also patrolling the games to check for point-shaving and game-fixing.