Officials of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup expressed their utmost regret to the people of Siquijor for the mess by club team Mystics that disgraced the province.
In a letter to Siquijor Governor Zaldy Villa and Congressman Jake Villa, league Chief Operations Officer Rocky Chan apologized to the province for accepting the team into the country’s first-ever professional basketball league based in the south.
“We were only informed last April 14 that the provincial government of Siquijor was not in any way involved with the team coached by Joel Palapal who joined our league and disgraced not just us and the wonderful province of Siquijor but moreso the game of basketball,” said Chan.
“The league takes full responsibility in accepting the team which called itself the Siquijor Mystics which on record was solely funded by businessman Bernard Lim. Our fault is that we trusted them based on our ‘love of the game’ not knowing that Messr Palapal and Lim misrepresented the local government unit of Siquijor.”
Last April 14, the Mystics figured in a farcical contest against ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu that saw numerous botches — including air-balled free throws, mind-boggling turnovers, and comedic fastbreak attempts.
The league banished all the members of the Mystics from the league. Meanwhile, the Games and Amusements Board is looking to forfeit the licenses of everyone involved if proven guilty after their investigation.
The people of Siquijor blasted the team for misrepresenting them, led by University of San Jose-Recoletos head coach Leode Garcia, who is a proud son of the province.
“We would also like to extend our sincerest apologies to the people of Siquijor on the said incident that has created so much attention to the public.
“This is a learning experience for us in our quest to revive basketball and provide a means of living for the budding athletes in the Visayas and Mindanao regions,” expressed Chan.
Chan also clarified that the Mystics team has been banished, but the province of Siquijor may still participate in future editions of the tournament.
Moreover, the league is planning to organize a basketball clinic for the youth of the province when the pandemic clears up.