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Bacolod City, PhilippinesTuesday, July 12, 2011
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Negros players not keen
on joining PBaRS 3rd leg

All is set for the 3rd leg of the Philippine Badminton Ranking System in Davao City on July 31 up to August 6, but Negros players are not keen on joining the competition.

Melanie Sabino, a parent of one Negros players who complained before the PBaRS about an over-aged player fielded by the Laguna-based Whackers Badminton Academy, said she does not know if anybody from Negros will compete in Davao.

Sabino said she welcomes the approval of the Philippine Badminton Association on the sanctions meted by the PBaRS against the over-aged player Diane Ocampo, her coach Juanito Lamanilao, and the Whackers academy on the cheating incident in Bacolod City during the second leg of the tournament.

While she is not totally appeased by the results of her complaint, Sabino said she is happy that the PBA and the PBaRS acted on it instead of “sweeping things under the rug” as usually practiced by some national sports associations.

Sabino said PBA Secretary General Rep. Alfredo Benitez (3rd District, Neg. Occ.) informed her that they approved of the sanctions recommended by the PBaRS Organizing Committee on the parties involved in the incident.

She also received a copy of the report dated June 14, 2011 submitted by PBaRS Tournament Director Nelson Asuncion to Vice President Jejomar Binay, head of the PBA, which contained the recommended sanctions.

The PBaRS ruled that all ranking points gained by player Diane Ocampo of the Whackers Badminton Academy during the first and second legs of the tournament in the Under-15 category are forfeited and her PBaRS ID has been revoked.

Ocampo is also prohibited to participate in future PBaRS’ organized tournament for a minimum of two years, with the ban taking effect on June 4, 2011 up to June 3, 2013.

Since Ocampo’s entry form was signed by Juanito Lamanilao Jr. as her guardian, the latter was sanctioned for falsification of documents and banned from entering future PBaRS-organized events for a minimum of two years during the same period.

Ocampo was fined P1,000 for the offense while Lamanilao’s fine was pegged at P5,000.

Whackers Badminton Academy, was also fined the minimum of P10,000 for the first offense of falsification of documents.

Ocampo played in the Under 15 girls’ singles, girls’ doubles, and mixed doubles, despite failing to meet the cutoff age requirement set by the PBaRS.

In her complaint, Sabino attached a document from the Department of Education, indicating that Ocampo was born year 1996.

“This makes her overage and contradicts the earlier submitted documents by Whackers team to PBaRS committee showing her birth year of 1997,” PBaRS investigation showed.

But while the sanctions gave justice to her complaint, Sabino said she was surprised that there was no complaint against Whackers academy before when it is almost public knowledge that similar incidents happened before.

“When I aired my complaint, at least three people came forward to tell me that Whackers did it before,” Sabino said. “It’s about time they get caught. We’re lucky for the prompt action of Rep. Albee Benitez and the PBaRS, through coach Nelson (Asuncion),” she added.

In his letter to Sabino, Benitez stressed that the PBA stands in its commitment to safeguard the interest of badminton and will not tolerate unsportsman conduct and dishonesty which hinders its growth and development.

In his report to the PBA, Asuncion presented the details of the complaint and their investigation and all supporting documents.

Asuncion also said that the organizing committee aims to ensure fair and competitive play and instill discipline to players, coaches, team managers and members, as well as the spectators.*NAB

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