Davao Occidental reaches MPBL finals as Basilan loses by forfeiture

The Davao Occidental Tigers advanced to the Maharlika Pilipinas Basketball League (MPBL) National Finals after playoff foe Basilan Steel lost by forfeiture due to more positive coronavirus tests.

Four Basilan members yielded positive COVID-19 results from their tests on Monday, March 15 – just days before their scheduled winner-take-all Southern Division finals clash on Wednesday, March 17.

MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes confirmed the development in a press release.

The Tigers-Steel rubber match was originally scheduled on March 10 but the MPBL pushed back the game to March 17 after two Basilan players tested positive for the coronavirus.

In order for the March 17 game to push through, the MPBL required the entire Basilan crew – which underwent quarantine – to test negative.

With Basilan losing by default, Davao Occidental set a finals rematch with defending champion San Juan Knights.

San Juan is coming off a dominant 77-point mauling of the shorthanded Makati Super Crunch in their do-or-die Northern Division finals duel.

The best-of-five National Finals will kick off on March 17 at the Subic Bay Gymnasium at 4 pm. – Rappler.com

Delfin Dioquino

Delfin Dioquino dreamt of being a PBA player, but he did not have the skills to make it. So he pursued the next best thing to being an athlete – to write about them. He took up journalism at the University of Santo Tomas and joined Rappler as soon as he graduated in 2017.