The Basilan Steel labeled as “unfair” the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s ruling to forfeit their supposed South Division Finals Game 3 against the Davao Occidental Tigers due to positive Covid-19 cases.
This, as the vastly improved squad confirmed on Tuesday night that they were going to appeal, especially to league founder Manny Pacquiao, what they think was an “unfair decision.”
“(The) Basilan Steel-Jumbo Plastic-Phenom team is greatly disappointed with the decision of the MPBL management committee in default(ing) our Division Finals game against (the) Davao Occidental Tigers. We have long patiently waited for this resumption, which took a year to unfold due to the pandemic,” Basilan said in a statement.
The team claimed that the league asked them to concede due to logistical issues.
“We were even given the reason that we have to default because it is very hard for them to get a permit to resume the games and because of the high costs it will take to extend the bubble,” the club added.
The Steel also denied the MPBL’s claim that they arrived late into the league’s bubble in Subic Bay, saying, “We are here in SBMA (Subic Bay Metropolitan Authority) quarantined, who traveled in a single bus from Manila required by their (own) protocol, which means upon entering SBMA and doing the swab test, for us the bubble already started.”
The club also called on the league to adhere to what was agreed upon before the start of the bubble.
“We demand that (the) MPBL implement its (own) protocol signed by its medical team that if someone tested positive in the bubble, there would be a postponement of games until the team is ready to play its game,” the statement continued, even sharing one crucial clause in the Department of Health circular on non-professional sports bubbles amid the pandemic.
“In the event that an individual is confirmed to be Covid-19-positive, the conduct of the athletic full bubble-type training and competition shall be suspended,” the clause read.*PNA