Pacquiao adamant game-fixing has no place in MPBL
Norman Lee Benjamin Riego on Jun 11, 2019 01:03 PM
Manny Pacquiao will not tolerate anybody that will jeopardize the beautiful game being promised by the MPBL (FILE PHOTO).
Manny Pacquiao has promised that the MPBL, his fledgling regional league, will never be knocked down by irregularities.
"Itong MPBL, Liga ng Bawat Pilipino, ayaw na ayaw kong mapasukan ng game-fixing," he told team owners in the Lakan Cup's pre-season press conference last Sunday. "Ire-remind ko yung mga nasa labas na pilit pumapasok sa ating liga tapos oofferan ang ating mga players, hindi pupwede yan dito sa MPBL."
The Philippines' grandest regional league is all set to commence its third season, Wednesday at MOA Arena.
As always, all of the action will be on ABS-CBN S+A Channel 23, ABS-CBN S+A HD Channel 166, LIGA SkyCable Channel 86, LIGA HD SkyCable Channel 183, iWant and TFC.
The Lakan Cup is also all set to be the biggest one yet, with a record 31 teams doing battle.
And in the eyes of Pacquiao, that competition should be more than enough for everybody. "Kung gusto niyo pumusta, 'di naman natin maiiwasan yan, pumusta kayo, pero sa effort ng bawat team, kung sino yung mananalo. Hayaan niyo silang maglaro," he said.
Just two weeks ago, accusations of game-fixing cropped up in the ongoing 2019 PBA D-League - and the aftermath saw CEU, one of the tournament's top teams, dismissing seven players and continuing to compete with just eight players.
The Philippines' fighting senator wants none of that in his league. "Wag niyong susuhulan yung mga players kasi pag nahuli ko kayo, itaga niyo sa bato, hihingi na ako ng pasensya, pero gutom yung mga isda dun sa dagat," he said.
Elaborating on their steps to prevent this possibility, he continued, "Kung sino magbigay ng info sa akin regarding dyan, ive-verify ko, saka bibigyan ko ng kalahating milyon. Ako na bahala dun sa taong mag-aattempt magsuhol. Bahala na mga isda sa dagat."
MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes went one step farther, saying that this goes not only for players. As he put it, "I think the message is very clear from our owner and founder, we're very critical of game-fixing so (umayos tayo), mga players."
He then continued, "Pero 'di lang players, if ever, yung mga referees, kasali sa game-fixing, i-report niyo rin sa amin. We will spare no one here, even our own."
Follow this writer on Twitter, @riegogogo.