One of Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League’s clubs might see their championship dreams end due to things beyond their control.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, Southern Division finalists Basilan Steel are still unsure if they will take part in the 2020-21 Chooks-to-Go Lakan playoffs bubble, set to start on March 10 in Subic.
One of Tiebreaker Times’ sources who requested anonymity disclosed that the team’s higher-ups did not release a proper budget for the team to play in the bubble.
This is a sad development, as Basilan is just one win away from making it to the best-of-five National Championship.
From finishing with a 7-18 record in the Datu Cup, Basilan rose in the following season under the stewardship of Phenom Sports Management.
Back on March 9, Basilan stunned last season’s finalist Davao Occidental in Game One of the best-of-three series, 74-72, in Tagum. The Tigers were able to knot the series two days later, 76-81, in Lamitan, sending the series into a win-or-go-home tilt. However, the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic stopped play.
Basilan had already been preparing individually for the past month for the tournament. Moreover, the Steel would have had an intact team sans Allyn Bulanadi, who is still recovering from a right shoulder injury.
“We, from the management to the coaching staff and the players, have been doing our part to complete our goal of winning the championship,” rued youthful Basilan head coach Jerson Cabiltes.
“But now we don’t know if we are even going to participate. This is something we have no control of but we are still hoping for the best.”
As of publishing, the MPBL brass, headed by Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes, is looking to find a solution for Basilan.