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Soccsksargen Marlins refute MPBL game fixing raps: But Sonny Uy, 3 Chinese respondents MIA

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Officials and players of the Soccsksargen Marlins basketball team on Friday belied the charges of game-fixing at the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball Association (MBPL).

A total of 17 respondents filed their respective counter-affidavits before Assistant State Prosecutor Kristhine Salumbides to refute the allegations in the complaint filed by MBPL Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes.

Salumbides has been conducting the preliminary investigation on the complaint since Dec. 18, 2019.

The respondents were accused of multiple counts of betting, game-fixing, and points shaving in violation of Sections 1 and 3 of Presidential Decree (PD) 483 as amended by PD 1602.

The case concerns 18 games that the Soccsksargen Marlins participated in from July to October last year and where the game-fixing allegedly took place.

Named as respondents are Soccsksargen Marlins team manager Kevin Espinosa, coach Fedinand Melocoton, and basketball players Jake Diwa,Exequiel Biteng, Jerome Juanico, Matthew Bernabe, Julio Magbanua, Abraham Santos, John Patrick Rabe, Ryan Regalado, Janus Lozada, Ricky Morillo, and Joshua Alcober.

Other respondents are Quezon City Capitals team manager Nino Dionisio, Serafin Matias, Nice Ilagan, and EJ Avila.

Four respondents– Sonny Uy and three Chinese nationals who were only known as Mr. Sung, Kein, and Emma– failed to file counter-affidavits and never appeared during the past hearings on the case.

Salumbides asked the National Bureau of Investigation (NBI) to get the address of the Chinese nationals to subpoena them to appear and submit counter-affidavits. (PNA)