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UFL boots Global out of Cup as punishment for fielding ineligible player



2014 United Football League (UFL) champions Global FC have been banned from participating in the 2015 UFL Cup. This comes after league officials ruled that the club is liable in falsifying documents that were intended to certify the Filipino citizenship of Satoshi Otomo and Hikaru Minegishi.

The problem is thought to have surfaced after league officials determined both players as Filipino citizens, due to the applicable fact that their mothers were Filipino by blood. One of them even represented the country in an unofficial friendly match in Thailand, which could have been deemed as enough proof of citizenship by league officials. Halfway through the season, four clubs questioned the authenticity of the involved players’ citizenship. As a result, UFL required Global to submit a document which serves as proof of citizenship of the involved players.

When Global issued the documents, it was ruled that Mr. Otomo’s credentials were forged. Upon learning that fact and witnessing the two players play with five foreign players on the pitch–which effectively makes them ineligible–the teams decided to take the issue seriously by filing a petition to forfeit those matches when such instances occurred.

The two players are claimed to be of Filipino descent, having been born to mothers who grew up in the country. However, they are currently listed as Japanese nationals in accordance to the fact that they were both born in Japan. Japanese law dictates that children born in their territory qualify for Japanese citizenship. It was also alleged that both mothers underwent naturalization prior to their birth, meaning that they became Japanese citizens when they have gave birth to the two controversial players. This matter of ‘fact’, nonetheless, does not sternly undermine the eligibility of both players because neither verified the issue.


UFL Speaks out


In a scrum with UFL General Manager Rely San Agustin and UFL Technical Director Ritchie Gannaban held earlier today at the UFL head office, explained that this was a very sensitive issue for the league and they simply followed protocols with regards to the matter. “In the history of the UFL, this is the first time we’ve experienced something like this. We just wanted to make sure, if it is the right decision or the wrong decision, what’s more important is we were able to follow the right process. We are bound by rules and regulations, not just from with the UFL but we also refer to the FIFA disciplinary code on things like this, as well as the PFF.”

The issue was under a microscope with different media outlets and fans clamoring for an immediate answer from the UFL. With regards to the criticism of hiding and keeping the results to themselves Technical Director Ritchie Gannaban quickly explained the league’s process and added that they remained transparent to the media and the fans. “So as it is, the one that has the last say here was really the appeals committee. We wanted to make sure that they reviewed the decision of the disciplinary commission and made sure they were able to decide on it. They didn’t waste any time, I think from the decision of the disciplinary commission to the appeals committee took about a week,” the GM added.

After sharing their process Sir Rely disclosed the decision of the appeals committee which are as follows:


1. That Global FC be disqualified from the 2015 UFL Cup after failing to prove that former player Satoshi Otomo had Filipino lineage while being fielded as a local player during the league competition.

2. The Appeals Commitee upheld the decision of the Disciplinary Committee that Otomo, a Japanese Player, was not eligible to play as a Filipino in the UFL.

3. That Global FC also be asked to pay a Php. 250,000 fine for its offense, while the player Otomo, has been meted with a six-match suspension from UFL competitions.

4. That Hikaru Minegishi is eligible to play as a Filipino.

5. That the complaint lodged by the teams did not follow the proper procedure under UFL rules of reversing the outcome of games, thus Global FC will not forfeit the three games wherein Otomo was fielded.

The scrum ended with both Mr.San Agustin and Mr. Gannaban hoping to move forward and hopefully adapt for the future. “It was a very difficult task for us to be able to resolve this issue, we never wanted this to happen. I guess this is a step forward to be able to professionalize the league even more. There are future plans for football here in the Philippines, and we want to be able to make sure that, if ever things go up another level, we are also ready for that,” the GM shared. They also believe that the league will learn from this mistake/incident and improve.


Global FC’s reaction


Meanwhile, Global FC Chief Operating Officer Cian Palami was disappointed by the said UFL ruling. “Of course ikinalulungkot namin ‘yung naging desisyon ng UFL, kasi ‘yung talunan dito hindi lang kami, pati ‘yung fans,” he shared. The COO also mentioned that they plan to make a statement in the coming days in a proper venue and date. Despite the ruling, Mr. Palami is still prideful about representing the UFL as the lone non-Singaporean club left in the Singaporean Cup. “Confident kami in the end of all this, Global will become stronger and mas matibay ‘yung samahan ng mga fans ng UFL at ng Philippine Football in general,” he ended.

Despite Global’s disqualification from the cup, their league record still stands and is still second place, unless the PFF says otherwise.

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Yeng Guiao denies using racial slur against Chris Ross



During the post-game of the San Miguel Beermen’s victory over the NLEX Road Warriors, reigning Coach of the Year Leo Austria said that NLEX head coach Yeng Guiao called Chris Ross the “N” word that caused the commotion.

According to Chris, tinawagan siya ng nigger or ganiyan,” said Austria. “I don’t know but that’s what he explained to me because I confronted Chris Ross because he’s one of the most important players in my team.

“But that’s the thing he doesn’t want to hear so nagflare up yung bata so I cannot blame him.”

Guiao though denied that he blurted out racial slurs against San Miguel’s Chris Ross.

“Hindi. Hindi ko tinawag na N-word. Ewan ko kung may nakarinig. Pero hindi,” clarified the fiery tactician moments after their 98-109 defeat, their third straight after starting the 2018 Philippine Cup with two straight wins.

That tussle, according to Guiao, was just filled with trash talking against each other, as he felt the need to retaliate. In fact, Guiao was even caught by the TV camera saying “son of a bitch” towards the Filipino-American point guard.

“Daldal siya ng daldal eh. Eh sa akin naman kapag ganon, siguro respeto nalang. Lumayo ka nalang tutal mananalo naman na kayo,” he said. “I didn’t understand what he was saying, what he was talking about.

“Nakipagtrash-talking din ako sa kanya.”

Furthermore, the 58-year-old was also caught by the cameras flipping the bird — in one quick motion — also against Ross.

“Oo. Kasama na rin yun.

“Pero ano naman eh, it’s part of, siguro, psychological warfare. Malakas din siya mang-asar. Hindi lang naman sa amin. Everytime naman na mga ganoong skirmishes, he also knows what he’s capable of,” the seven-time champion coach furthered.

But more than this scuffle, it really has become a stressful time for Guiao and the Road Warriors. They have now went down to 2-3 in the team standings, and the mentor sees the great need to end this slump immediately.

“We have to arrest it very soon. Ang susunod na laro namin ay versus Rain or Shine sa Friday. So we need to go back to 50 percent win-loss level para at least may chance ka na maka-playoffs. That’s going to be a crucial game for us,” he stressed.

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Kiefer Ravena shocked with Von Pessumal’s shove: ‘I did not expect that at all’



Kiefer Ravena and Von Pessumal have been teammates ever since they were in high school, winning three UAAP juniors crowns together. They won two championships together in the seniors level and even played together in Gilas. They were inseparable.

Friday evening however, they were playing for separate camps.

Ravena admitted that he never expected a shove to come from Pessumal during the NLEX Road Warriors’ clash with San Miguel Beermen.

In an off-ball situation, Pessumal charged at Ravena, sending the rookie down to the floor with 9:50 remaining in the final frame. He was then whistled for an unsportsmanlike foul, and Ravena sank one from the line.

“I did not expect that at all,” admitted Ravena after the match in which they lost, 98-109 — their third straight defeat after a 2-0 start. “But hopefully Von doesn’t take it personal.

“I’m just doing my job. They won the game.”

Ravena insisted that there wasn’t any physicality between him and Pessumal prior to that, but he thinks that his former Gilas teammate may have gotten irked by his staredown after blocking him on a fastbreak play early in the fourth.

“When that fastbreak happened — the same exact possession na I challenged him, I looked at him, and after that yun na yung nangyari,” said the 23-year-old guard. “But I never instigated something to provoke Von to do that.

“Probably nung tinignan ko siya.”

Moreover, the second overall pick of the 2017 PBA Rookie Draft felt that that incident “started all the commotions during the end game (laughs). Yun yung pinaka-una eh. And with that, the team got fired up and it worked for them.”

He may be right, for the game saw more skirmishes after that: from teammate Michael Miranda kicking Chris Ross to the groin, and with his head coach Yeng Guiao figuring in a heated verbal war also against Ross.

But then, Ravena made it clear that it was never a plan of his to put down somebody, especially someone like Pessumal who he sees as a brother for life.

“You know, Von and I, we go way back. Things like this hopefully don’t become too personal.

“I have no intention na ipapahiya yung tao or sasaktan mo yung tao. Wala namang ganun. Laro-laro lang,” said NLEX’s leading scorer.

It was somehow a night to remember for Ravena, but for all the wrong reasons. After Friday’s loss that sent their card to 2-3, the veteran internationalist now sees the need for him and the Road Warriors to push the panic button.

“‘Di na pwedeng sabihin palaging kailangan namin matuto eh. Pangatlong sunod na,” the second-generation cager expressed.

“Kailangan siguro naming umaksyon.”

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Downcast Chris Ross chooses to stay mum after heated altercation with Yeng Guiao



Through wins or losses, Chris Ross has always accommodated the members of the press asking for interviews and fans requesting for photo ops every after game. But Friday evening, the nine-year pro was despondent.

Visibly agitated with the events that had transpired during the San Miguel Beermen’s tilt against the NLEX Road Warriors, Ross, with his hoodie covering his head, left the Cuneta Astrodome without saying a word.

The reigning Defensive Player of the Year had figured in physical play after physical play and verbal exchange after verbal exchange with the frustrated Road Warriors.

Ross and Alex Mallari were both slapped with technicals after a confrontation with 9:06 left. This was just the start of many things to come for the Filipino-American defensive specialist

After knocking down a triple and receiving a taunt from Ross, Michael Miranda was assessed a disqualifying foul for an apparent kick to the groin against Ross with 4:35 left.

The tip of the iceberg came with 1:46 left to play and the game all but settled.

Yeng Guiao and Ross figured in a heated word war that resulted in Ross’ second technical foul for the game. Referees and players from both sides had to separate the two to prevent things from escalating.

San Miguel coach Leo Austria alleged that the fiery NLEX mentor said the “N” word, while some said Guiao called Ross a “bitch”.

Ross finished the game with four points, eight rebounds, and four steals in 37 minutes of action.

For sure, penalties and suspensions will come out of this game.

And it was better for Ross to stay silent.

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Jason Brickman flirts with triple-double as Mono holds off Singapore



After playing his worst game of the season last Sunday against Tanduay Alab Pilipinas, Jason Brickman bounced back, steering the Mono Vampire to a 91-88 road victory over the Singapore Slingers, Friday evening at the OCBC Arena.

The 26-year-old, who finished with just seven points and three assists in their 71-104 loss to Alab, tallied 10 points, 11 rebounds, and nine assists. The league-leader in assists did not take a break, playing all 40 minutes.

But it was not a walk in the park for the Thailand-based squad.

Mono led by as much as 22 points, 60-48, with 7:46 left, 16 points entering the final frame. A furious fourth quarter rally by Singapore sliced the lead, turning the game into a single-possession contest with a minute left. The steady hands of Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary from the stripe fended off Singapore.

Brickman’s compatriot Paul Zamar chipped in 13 markers for Mono.

Since torching Alab last January 3, Filipino-Canadian AJ Mandani has been on a slump, going just 3-for-11 from the field for nine points.

Mono’s World Imports Samuel Deguara and Mike Singletary both finished with 26 points with the former hauling down 18 rebounds. For Singapore, Xavier Alexander paced the Slingers with 29 points, nine rebounds, and eight assists.

With the win, the Vampire kept solo third with a 7-4 slate. On the other hand, the Slingers dropped its second straight game since winning against Alab, falling to 5-6.

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