GAB to suspend 10 cue artists

The Games and Amusements Board (GAB) is set to come up with a decision on the 10 professional billiards players who failed to explain why they joined a recent moneyed tournament without securing license from the government's regulating body for professional sports.

While it is almost sure that the erring players will have their license suspended, GAB chairman Eric Buhain said that they are studying whether they can shorten the law-mandated three-month suspension for humanitarian reason.

“Based on the GAB rule book, a minimum penalty for that offense is three-month suspension but for me, I would suggest one-month because we have to consider that they players are using this sports as source of their income,” Buhain said Friday.

The GAB board is set to come out with the penalty against the 10 players headed by Asian Games gold medalist Gaga Gabica and Marlon Manalo who did not comply with GAB requirement when they competed in the qualifying tournament for Guiness Asian Tour last month.

“I have to talk to some of the players, especially Marlon, and explain to them the side of GAB where they have to simply follow the rules and policies or else face the consequences,” Buhain stressed.

“It's a basic rule that problem arises if you disobey the law. It's very simple that we have to follow the law,” Buhain added.

On the issue of Billiards Snooker Congress of the Philippines (BSCP), Buhain welcomed the plan of the Senate to investigate the complaints of BSCP chairman Yen Makabenta that GAB is intervening in the affair of the governing body for amateur billiards.

“I welcomed the Senate investigation and I have nothing to fear because what we're doing here at GAB is based on the law created by our Congress,” Buhain said.

Buhain explained that Makabenta and his group failed to get the GAB license for holding the Mandaluyong Mayor's Cup which offered US$ 10,000 for the champion.

Makabenta, who is also president of Raya Sports that organized the 2006 and 2007 World Pool championships here, claimed the tournament was a grassroots development program.

“How can you claim that it is grassroots when you have already completing professional players like Gabica and Manalo and plus foreign players like Johnny Archer,” Buhain asked.

“The requirements of GAB are very simple. We're just asking them to get license and submit the tournament rules and pay sanction fee which is only P800 per day,” Buhain explained.