ANGELES CITY–Alaska head coach Jeff Cariaso bared that the team’s precautionary swab retest helped them in a little way to ease out the worries caused by the first reported “suspect” case inside the PBA bubble.
The Aces, along with their Tuesday’s foe Blackwater, underwent a second RT-PCR test in just a span of a week before heading into their respective games against Rain or Shine and TNT Tropang Giga on Thursday at the Smart 5G-powered AUF Sports Arena.
Though the league has no plans to reveal the identity of the referee who is now confined in an isolation facility at the Athletes’ Village in Capas, Tarlac, it is believed that the game official was present during the Alaska and Blackwater game.
This is why the Aces and the Elite had a sudden round of swab test.
Cariaso revealed that the Milkmen also had an antigen test as recommended by team doctor Facundo Sun which came out negative, helping them carve out an 89-88 escape versus the Elasto Painters for a third straight win following a two-game losing start to the 45th Season Philippine Cup.
“Our guys were really really bothered by it. We were stressed by it,” said the 48-year-old Cariaso, referring to the news of the suspected case that rocked not just the league but the entire local sports scene on Wednesday.
“But taking the antigen test today, we’re all negative so that gave us the confidence to go out here and just relax a little bit,” added the seven-time PBA champion as a player.
“Not just for us. Knowing that we might spread it to our opponents is also something we think about because at the end of the day, it’s still safety first.”
The results of Alaska and Blackwater’s swab retest will come out in at least two days along with Ginebra guard LA Tenorio, several PBA, staff and members of the media who went through their second round of testing at the Quest Hotel.