By Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
Basilan Steel’s team owner has finally spoken.
After the controversial decision of ending the MPBL semifinals southern division rubber match by default due to Basilan having positive COVID-19 results during their re-swab, team owner Hegem Furigay broke his silence amid the issue and aired his dismay regarding the outcome.
Basilan City’s councilor was disappointed that everything they did for the team went to waste because the “MPBL was not able to sort out remedies” and allow his team to play in the bubble.
“We invested heavily in our campaign to win it all, but this incident unjustly took that chance away from us, not even letting my people step on the court for one single time. So now we are demanding the costs of our campaign back,” said councilor Furigay.
Furigay also disclosed that it was the team’s responsibility to shoulder the cost of their hotel and swabbing in the bubble which piled up to near 1 million pesos due to their extended stay.
“All of them housed in their own individual rooms not interacting with each other is not an easy pill to swallow in terms of expense,” added the councilor.
Team Basilan waited for one year for the resumption of the league and the fact that they were called up for the bubble and did not even spend a single minute in the playing court was unacceptable to councilor Furigay and the rest of the management.
To recall, both Davao and Basilan are slated to play the final game of their thrilling semifinals series but players from Basilan tested positive two times: during the first general team swabbing and the re-swabbing.
After the result of the first swabbing where a few of Basilan’s players tested positive, MPBL commissioner Kenneth Duremdes announced that if they will have another positive result, Davao will automatically advance to the finals and will win by default.
“We were led on, cheated, and made fools of. We entered this bubble in good faith. Show us good faith on our way out,” councilor Furigay closed.