Davao Occidental enters MPBL finals as four Basilan members test positive for COVID-19

Published March 16, 2021, 2:02 PM

by Jeremiah Sevilla

Photo from MPBL

Davao Occidental did not need to break a sweat to enter the MPBL Lakan Cup National Finals as it won the South Division title against Basilan by default on Tuesday, March 16. 

This after MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes confirmed that four members of the Steel tested positive for COVID-19 from their re-swab last Monday, prompting the league to crown the Tigers as the South Division kings for the second straight season. 

It was a disappointing development for Basilan, which pulled all the stops to make it to the MPBL bubble in Subic only to find out that two of its players were positive of the novel coronavirus. 

The Steel actually took the first game of the South Division Finals with a 74-72 squeaker but the Tigers evened up the series with an 81-76 win before the nationwide lockdown put a halt to sporting events last year. 

With the effortless victory, Davao arranged a grudge rematch against defending champion San Juan in the best-of-five National Finals which will start on Wednesday, March 17, at 4 p.m. at the Subic Bay Gymnasium. 

Behind PBA standout Mike Ayonayon from NLEX, the Knights punched their ticket to the National Finals by decimating the five-man Makati Super Crunch, 131-54, in the North Division decider last week. 

Due to time constraint, the national title series is set to be held almost everyday, with only a one-day breather following the Game Two on Thursday. 

 
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