11 March 2016

An "Integrity TF" is What the PBA Needs?

PBA Board
International sports body have tackled several issues that questions their integrity and they have gone to great lengths to discuss certain key areas such as identifying tactics used by criminals and organized crime networks, and the need to educate players as well as officials on how to recognize, resist and report attempts to corrupt or fix any sporting event.

The Philippine Basketball Association (PBA) has not really raised their level of integrity since the match-fixing allegations in the 80's and 90's. There were also no internal Task Force created to support match-fixing investigations and operations, as well as maintain a local network of investigators for information-sharing.

One best practice that the PBA can learn from is the experience of Euroleague, the highest tier of professional basketball in Europe.

The European body has strengthened its integrity monitoring by partnering with Sport Integrity Monitor (SportIM). The partnership extension will see SportIM set up sports monitoring workshops in order to educate Euroleague stakeholders, officials and employees on suspicious betting patterns related to European basketball matches.

The agreement will see Euroleague integrate SportIM’s tailored basketball monitoring system which will be backed by its team of integrity analysts and sports monitors.

"Thanks to reaching agreements with innovative organisations such as Sport Integrity Monitor, we are able to use their expertise and state-of-the-art technology in order to help protect the integrity of our sport," said Eduard Scott, CEO of Euroleague Basketball.

"We look forward to the two-fold approach, utilising SportIM’s pioneering basketball monitoring system as well as co-organizing educational workshops for all of the relevant participants and stakeholders in our competitions. We are confident that this relationship will minimize the threat of match and spot fixing whilst ensuring that all Euroleague Basketball games can withstand the strictest scrutiny."

The SportIM system has exclusive access to live game data from over 35,000 basketball events per year, more than a decade’s worth of historic basketball data and live and historic odds from the global betting market. It processes and monitors these datasets and its sophisticated algorithms identify anomalies in real time.

If the PBA is serious in attracting more fans to watch and follow the league, then they better get their acts together and examine how they can improve the integrity of basketball in the country.

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