|The Steel are turning pro! MPBL (file photo)|
MANILA--The Basilan Steel are making a jump to the VisMin Super Cup.
Rocky Chan, the league's chief operating officer, confirmed on Friday night that the team is indeed joining the first professional basketball league exclusively catering to teams outside Luzon.
According to Chan, all that is yet to be done is the formality.
"We are supposed to sign the contract anytime this week, but it's definite already that they will be joining us for the inaugural season," he told the Sports Bytes podcast.
Interestingly enough, the confirmation came a few days after things began going sour between the team and the MPBL.
Both parties are at the brink of a fallout after the league forfeited the Steel's South Division Finals decider against the Davao Occidental Tigers due to some Basilan players testing positive for COVID-19.
Davao Occidental was eventually handed the South title outright en route to beating San Juan in the national finals in Subic.
"It just so happened siguro na medyo naging issue sila in the other league right now. Siguro na-intriga rin ang pagsali nila sa amin," Chan further said.
Basilan will be playing in the Mindanao Conference, which also consists of Zamboanga City, Roxas, Pagadian, Sindangan, Cagayan De Oro, and Ozamiz.
Although they might announce their roster at a later date, the Steel will likely bring in at least the core of the team that played last MPBL season, which could possibly give the Rafters a run for their money in the Mindanao leg even if Allyn Bulanadi will likely remain sidelined due to his shoulder injury he suffered during the Gilas Pilipinas practice.
"For sure, they're one of the contenders," Chan said of Basilan.
The Mindanao Conference games will be played at the Dipolog Cultural Center starting in the third week of May, right after the conclusion of the Visayas leg in Alcantara, Cebu.
The full replay of the podcast can be seen here:
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