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GAB conditionally clears VisMin for Mindanao play

The Games and Amusements Board and the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup announced on Monday evening the resumption of the preparations for the Chooks-to-Go-backed Mindanao Leg of the tournament after an online meeting.

The Mindanao Leg is set to tip-off on May 30 with the league. The host of the league’s second leg will be announced in the coming days.

However, the league will only be given a license to promote if it complies to a number of conditions.

“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 Baham Mitra, stressing that VisMin Super Cup has to accomplish the requirement before getting full approval.

The Pilipinas VisMin Cup staged its Visayas Leg last month in Alcantara, Cebu under a bubble set up.

However, a game-fixing controversy erupted in one game where players from Siquijor Mystics and ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City Heroes showed subpar performances last April 14.

The league management, on its own, halted the game at half-time with the score of 27-13 and suspended the triple-header scheduled the following day to give way to the investigation by the league and the government agency.

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.

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“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.

Meanwhile, league officials submitted to the GAB’s Anti-Illegal Gambling Unit (AIGU), through the PNP of Alcantara, Cebu, their joint affidavits stating the results of their thorough review and investigation.

“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.

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