Chooks-To-Go president Ronald Mascariñas on Monday agreed with the decision of the Games and Amusement Board of acting “strongly, and swiftly, against the painfully laughable lack of professionalism on display in the basketball match between the Siquijor Mystics and Lapu Lapu Heroes last April 14, during the Visayas leg of the VisMin Super Cup.”
The controversial game was marred by air-balled free throws, botched fastbreak attempts and mind-boggling turnovers. Both squads also attempted and missed an unusual number of free throws as Siquijor missed all 10 of their free-throw attempts while allowing Lapu-Lapu to attempt 19 in 20 minutes of action.
This prompted the league to slap the entire Siquijor Mystics’ team, from coaching staff to the players, with a lifetime ban.
The GAB followed suit by suspending the entire Mindanao leg of the Super Cup pending further observation of the ongoing games in Visayas.
However, Mascariñas said the decision to suspend the Mindanao leg “is not just simply going overboard; it is going berserk.”
“The Mindanao leg, composed of different sets of management teams and players, and different sets of games, has not even started yet. The only way to justify such better-safe-than-sorry preemptive action is to suspect the entire Mindanao leg of serious copycat tendencies, or worst, possible agreement to commit the same April 14 infamy,” Mascariñas said.
He continued: “In law and ordinary logic, the only way to attribute an act of one as an act of all is to prove conspiracy—a meeting of the minds to commit a wrong. GAB did not even bother to offer any ground acceptable to a reasonable mind exercising ordinary judgment as remotely sufficient to justify its action.
It beggars belief that GAB could be acting, in this case, out of an abundance of caution, because the Visayas leg, where the shocking parody of professionalism in basketball was played, was not even suspended at all. It was allowed to go on, ostensibly, under ‘further observation.’”
Mascariñas asked that if wrongful acts committed in a single match in Cebu, and not by any means attributable to all the teams playing in the Visayas leg, did not stop the games there, “by what contorted stretch of logic or the imagination did it justify the wholesale suspension of the games in Mindanao?”
The investigations in Cebu have not even been completed yet.
“By suspending the Mindanao leg, the GAB went all over itself by introducing, in effect, a novel double presumption—that teams there are presumed to be presumed guilty of wrongful tendencies for acts committed elsewhere, and by strangers. It is as if the time-honored presumption of innocence, and the basic elements of due process, and finding probable cause, or basic logic, are mere logical, legal, or ethical niceties it can fully dispense with, anytime,” Mascariñas said.
He added: “Justice is not justice if it punishes the innocent with the guilty, however temporarily. Players are being deprived of livelihoods and fans of a boost to morales. In these difficult times, these may never be fully recovered, if at all. Worst, and even more profound, by suspending the Mindanao leg wholely, it allows the right to be held hostage by wrong, the many who are innocent, to be hijacked by the few.”
As a parting word, Mascariñas hopes that GAB reconsiders its decision to suspend the Mindanao leg of the Super Cup.
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