The Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) has stated that it is determined to get over the problems of betting and game-fixing in order to make the league even better. These problems have rocked the MPBL.
On Tuesday, the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL), through its commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, formally lodged a complaint against 21 individuals who are accused of being involved in game-fixing and other related schemes that have affected the competition in the semi-professional league’s first two years of existence.
This came after the MPBL had finished its investigation, which it had been conducting in conjunction with the National Bureau of Investigation of individuals it suspected of engaging in illegal activities at the expense of the fledgling league that was founded by boxing legend, senator, and basketball supporter Manny Pacquiao.
Under Presidential Decree No. 483, the respondents are being charged with 17 counts of betting, multiple acts of game-fixing, and multiple counts of points shaving.
The MPBL stated that the crimes were carried out between July and October of 2019.
The majority of the Soccsargen team as well as some officials from the team have been charged.
Team players Jake Diwa, Exequiel A. Biteng, Jerome E. Juanico, Matthew M. Bernabe, Julio A. Magbanua Jr., Abraham P. Santos, John Patrick C. Rabe, Ryan T. Regalado, and Ricky Morillo were named as respondents in the complaint. Team owner and player Kevin Espinosa was also named as a respondent in the complaint.
The following individuals also provided their feedback: Sonny Uy, Serafin Matias, EJ Avila, Nio Dionisio, Ferdinand C. Melocoton, Nice Ilagan, Janus Lozada, and Joshua Alcober.
The charges also claimed a specific “Mr. ” as the mastermind of the crime. Sung,” who the MPBL officers said was a citizen of China. A particular “Kein” and “Emma” were said to be the individuals who acted as intermediaries between the betting syndicate and the teams.
Those who are found guilty face a possible prison sentence of up to six years and a fine of up to P2,000.
During a news conference that took place at the Sofitel Hotel in Pasay City after charges were filed, Mr. Pacquiao could not help but voice his disappointment over the incident. At the same time, he stated that such actions have no place in the MPBL and basketball in general.
He went on to remind people that the MPBL was established so that it would promote fair play and create hometown heroes that communities all around the country could look up to.
Mr. Pacquiao has stated that he will see the case through to its conclusion and will make an example out of those who are found guilty in order to purge the league of undesirable members. He has also stated that the investigation is still underway in order to check for any more irregularities.
Mr. Duremdes believes that the recent controversy around the illegal schemes that they are attempting to resolve is a wake-up call not just for them in the MPBL but also for sports in the Philippines as a whole.
“It’s an eye-opener for everyone, not only here in the MPBL but in Philippine sports in general,” said the MPBL commissioner in an interview on the sidelines of the league press conference. The event was held in conjunction with the league press conference.
“We really wanted to explore this since such things have been happening in a lot of different sports here for a long time now, and yet nothing is being done about it. And this is our opportunity to be the agents of change,” he continued.
Mr. Duremdes, a legend in the Philippine Basketball Association, spoke to the teams and players of the MPBL and reminded them of their responsibilities to the league as well as the communities that they represent. He emphasized the importance of them conducting themselves in the most professional manner possible.
He went on to say that in the aftermath of the charges being filed, they will sit down and discuss measures to curb criminal activity in the league. He said that they will even consider employing the services of a third party to perform the monitoring of the league.
Mr. Duremdes is sure that the league would be able to rise above these challenges and go on as a better organization despite everything that has happened.
“We’re still positive. Although this is a problem for us, as an organization we are well equipped to deal with it. He explained that “our objective is to offer league for everybody and we are not going to be stopped from carrying it through.”
OKBET is the most reputable online sportsbook in the Philippines, so you can feel confident placing your wagers with them when it comes to the MPBL. a Philippine gaming website that is legal and regulated by the Philippine Amusement and Gaming Corporation (PAGCOR). Your wagers are completely secure when handled by OKBET. Take the Win right now!