THE Basilan Steel have to hurdle two major obstacles in their drive toward the Chooks-to-Go MPBL National Finals.
First, everybody, from the players to the coaches and team management, needs to be cleared after the COVID-19 re-swab test on Monday.
Just one positive result and all their effort to finish the South Division finals against the Davao Occidental Tigers would go for naught.
They would forfeit the Game Three decider and would be put under quarantine again.
If they get cleared to play, the Steel would have to battle the Tigers on Wednesday with a lot of downsides.
They would be without injured Gilas Cadet Allyn Bulanadi and the two players who turned out to be positive in the first swab tests at the MPBL bubble in Subic.
Unlike the Tigers, who have the benefit of actual workouts and practices at the Subic Bay gym, the Steel have to make do with virtual zoom training for the whole week they were confined to their hotel rooms.
They will have to nervously wait for the results which would be released early Tuesday.
Basilan coach Jerson Cabiltes knows they would be the underdogs against the intact Tigers but he doesn't mind.
"Definitely we would be underdogs," said Cabiltes. "Right now we're just praying and hoping that we'll be given the chance to play."
"If the game pushed through on March 10 I would say the players were ready, but it's altogether different now. The only thing I can promise is we would do everything possible to win."
According to Cabiltes, he'll only know where his players stand physically and mentally if they get to practice on Tuesday.
Apart from the Steel, the Tigers, the North Division champion San Juan Knights, the MPBL personnel headed by Commissioner Kenneth Duremdes also underwent COVID-19 saliva test.
Duremdes was accompanied by Deputy Commissioner Zaldy Realubit, Operations head Emmer Oreta, security chief Rudy Distrito, and operations assistant Satar Macantal.