MANILA — The Centro Escolar University Scorpions let go of seven members of its men's basketball team due to game-fixing allegations.
No less than head coach and general manager Derrick Pumaren confirmed the development on Thursday night.
"'Yung seven players, na-involve sa game-fixing (The seven players were involved in game-fixing) and we have strong evidences and they admitted it and they're out of the team. We cannot tolerate it," Pumaren said.
The game-fixing allegations stemmed from another preseason game the Scorpions are playing, particularly the summer league of the Universities and Colleges Basketball League.
Pumaren then rued on what happened, saying, "'Yung game na mahal natin, parang nababoy at parang hindi tama 'yun. Masyadong unfair sa mga gustong maglaro (The game that we love has been disrespected and that's not right. It's unfair to those who wanted to play)."
With that said, CEU only had to play with seven players in its PBA D-League quarterfinal game against Go for Gold-CSB at the Ynares Sports Arena in Pasig City.
The Scorpions did the unthinkable, ousting the Scratchers, 84-74, behind a monster game from Malick Diouf, who finished with 25 points, 29 rebounds, three assists, two steals, and two blocks.
"I'm happy for the boys, lalo na 'yung naglarong seven, lalo na kay Malick. He's been our game changer sa league na ito," said Pumaren, whose team will now face former rival St. Clare-Virtual Reality in the semifinals starting on Monday.
The undermanned lineup will also spill to other preseason tourneys the Scorpions are in, such as the FilOil Flying V Preseason Premier Cup.
CEU 84 -- Diouf 25, Santos 15, Guinitaran 13, Bernabe 10, Diaz 10, Sunga 7, Abastillas 4.
GO FOR GOLD-CSB 74 -- Adams 26, Banal 20, Nayve 7, Santillan 6, Gutang 5, Naboa 3, Dixon 3, Pasturan 2, Leutcheu 2, Carlos 0.
Quarters: 24-20, 44-36, 66-51, 84-74. (PNA)