MANILA — A Singaporean is under trial for graft over alleged game-fixing in Thailand and the Philippines.
According to The Straits Times, Koa Wei Quan is facing 14 graft charges at Singapore’s State Courts after his alleged scheme was exposed.
The games in question included three Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) matches, one of which turned out to be a championship clincher.
The court, however, did not disclose who among the players involved accepted bribes or whether a bribe was accepted at all.
Koa used to own a car rental services company that began operations in 2015. It was shut down two years after.
He allegedly offered Magnolia’s Ian Sangalang USD5,000 (approximately PHP280,000 as of Saturday) for him to drop Game 5 of the Philippine Cup Finals against San Miguel in 2018.
The Beermen needed double overtime to beat the Hotshots, 108-99, and clinch the championship, but it was revealed during the trial that the winning margin of nine was exactly what was allegedly agreed upon between Koa and Sangalang.
Sangalang finished with 11 points that night.
The 32-year-old Koa then allegedly offered some Blackwater players bribes on two occasions during the Commissioner’s Cup that same year.
Koa told the players, whose identities were not disclosed, to either keep their winning margin against the Terrafirma Dyip at four points or less or simply drop the game for PHP525,000 each.
Blackwater indeed lost to Terrafirma that night, 126-98.
He also offered the same group of Bossing players PHP1.5 million each to help take down the Phoenix Fuel Masters, but the latter won, 107-102.
The Bossing finished the conference in last place at 1-10, but the lone win, interestingly, came at the expense of Sangalang and the Hotshots.
TNT’s 3×3 star Almond Vosotros is also among the names mentioned in Koa’s game-fixing mess.
Koa allegedly bribed Vosotros into helping Provincial Electricity Authority arrive at certain outcomes in three Thailand Basketball Super League games, also in 2018
Koa likewise allegedly offered a bribe to Jalen Robinson to help Vosotros in settling a 23-point final margin in the game between PEA and Thai General Equipment.
Robinson recently won the Most Valuable Player award in the Sportsclick FilBasket International Championship after leading Kuala Lumpur to the championship.
Retired Leo Avenido, who last played in the PBA in 2015 was likewise accused of being an accomplice of Koa in the game-fixing case.
PBA Commissioner Willie Marcial said the league will conduct its own investigation.
Sangalang, Vosotros, and Blackwater officials are expected to be summoned to air their side.
If found guilty, the 32-year-old Koa will be sentenced to five years in prison and fined SGD100,000 (about PHP4.1 million).
The court hearing will resume on May 18. (PNA)