by Ernest Hernandez & Andrei de Guzman
Bounty Agro Ventures President and General Manager Ronald Mascarinas has already issued a letter to VisMin Pilipinas Super Cup that he will pull away Chooks-to-Go support if sanctions are not met during the controversial ARQ Builders Lapu-Lapu City and Siquijoor Mystics match.
The game happened at the fourth day of competition in the first professional league from the south. Chooks-to-Go pledged their support as the title partners a day before the tournament started back in April 9 in Alcantara Cebu.
"We have supported and lent our name to the league because we sincerely believed in your noble objective to provide a livelihood to deserving and promising basketball players amid the pandemic. We believed that the players have been blessed with a new and, currently, the only active league. We also believed that this will help rally and boost the nation’s morale in these difficult times," said by Mascarinas in a letter to VisMin Cup Chief Executive Officer Rocky Chan.
"In view of the foregoing, we demand that a full and detailed disclosure be made to our company and the public by the league and the teams involved in the conduct and results of their joint investigation with the Games and Amusement Board (GAB) on the aforementioned incident," he added.
"We also demand that the League swiftly impose sanctions against all erring parties, as may be warranted by the rules and the evidence. If the league fails to do so, Mascariñas and Chooks-to-Go will not hesitate in pulling the plug on its support for the upstart league."
"Through this letter, we are serving notice in good faith that our company willfully and forthwith disengage from our partnership with the league if the abovementioned demands are not met," further told by Mascariñas.
"We believe that our demands are necessary, reasonable, fair, and just, not only to protect our company’s reputation but also the integrity of the league, the interest of our professional players, the loyalty of our avid fans, and the respect and love of the entire nation for Philippine basketball as a whole."
"We trust in your full understanding and immediate action."
The businessman argued that the company supported the tourney because of their shared views and advocacy about basketball, but they were disturbed of what happened to the event that only started recently, specifically revolving around integrity and quality of the game.
"As Title Sponsor of the Inaugural Conference of the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup, Bounty Agro Ventures Inc. (BAVI) and its flagship brand Chooks-to-Go gave the Pilipinas VisMin Super Cup our full support because of our shared advocacy for Philippine basketball. However, we have witnessed with deeply disturbing concern how the quality and integrity of the games in the league have plunged steeply in just a week’s run."
"We just saw the obvious lack of passion and determination to play their best and win among the players in the match today between professional teams from Siquijor and Lapu-Lapu City. The level of performance on both sides was deplorable beyond belief and, unless explained otherwise, amounts to a willful lack of professionalism. And this is only, to say the least," the sports patron who has backed other regional leagues like the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League and National Basketball League-Pilipinas continued."
"As a result, unflattering speculations are now circulating among viewers about the motives for such wanton neglect of all known rules and standards on professional basketball games the public has come to expect, and demand. To be blunt, suspicions of game-fixing, illegal activities, and a deliberate effort to defraud the league’s fans, patrons and supporters are now gaining currency. Unless strong action is taken, the damage the aforementioned match is causing to the image of Philippine basketball would be incalculable. To the league, it may be fatal."
The league cancelled their games happening on April 15, 2021