Siquijor head coach Joel Palapal is in the midst of a firestorm in the wake of the farcical game between his Mystics and ARQ Builders-Lapu Lapu.
The game itself was a sight for sore eyes as his side only scored a grand total of 13 points in the first half last Wednesday. This comes after Siquijor dropped 105 points three days before.
Their 105-point win over Dumaguete, on the other hand, came after it had scored just 46 points in their debut.
But who is Joel Palapal?
During the early two 2000s, Palapal was tapped by St. Stephen in the Tiong Lian league as part of the coaching staff. A few years later, he was able to join the staff of some PBL teams and University of the East.
Palapal would gain his first head coaching stint in inter-bank leagues as part of Allied Bank.
He would also continue to help out Batangas during the MPBL Lakan Cup.
In 2019, he got his biggest break.
Almost 880-kilometers away from Alcantara, Cebu, Palapal made his national debut as head coach of the Hyperwash Vipers during the PBA D-League Foundation Cup.
And it was a controversial stint.
Palapal steered the Vipers to the playoffs with a 3-2 record. During those five games, Hyperwash scored 71, 72, 93, 144, and 70 points.
But that trend was just the tip of the iceberg before Hyperwash’s last-ever game in the D-League.
In a win-or-go-home game versus eventual-champion BRT Sumisip Basilan-St. Clare, the team which had a certain Ms. Zara Mae Morelos as team owner was handed a record-setting 117-180 loss.
The 180 points they gave up set multiple D-League records including most points in a game, in a half (108 in the second half), and in a quarter (60 in the fourth).
The game was so controversial that it forced league commissioner Willie Marcial to issue a memo for the teams to “protect the integrity of the games.”
The connection between Hyperwash and Siquijor also go beyond Palapal as both the Vipers and the Mytics have Jan Penaflor and Ryan Buenafe.
Nineteen months after the game, Palapal now faces a probable ban in professional basketball leagues as the Games and Amusements Board is set to tackle the issue as well. In addition, Siquijor’s listed owner Bernard Lim is set to release a statement in the coming days.