MANILA, Philippines -- The Alaska Aces are hoping that Maverick Ahanmisi will soon join them in the PBA bubble in Clark, Pampanga, as the veteran guard is still undergoing quarantine protocols.
Ahanmisi did not join the Aces when they arrived at the Quest Hotel in Clark, as he was still in the United States at the time. According to Alaska coach Jeff Cariaso, Ahanmisi arrived in the country Monday and has already undergone a swab test.
"We're still hoping for Maverick, we're just waiting for him to clear quarantine," said Cariaso. "After his mandatory five-day (quarantine), he'll be able to join us here."
However, Ahanmisi can't participate in team practices yet, as he has to undergo another swab test and isolate for 24 to 48 hours in his room. After he produces a negative result, he can join Alaska in their training sessions.
The Aces are coming off a 100-95 loss to TNT Tropang Giga in their first game of the All-Filipino Cup, which saw them squander a 17-point lead and allow Roger Pogoy to explode for 45 points.
"We're all waiting for him and we're all anticipating his presence," Cariaso said of Ahanmisi.
However, the coach also warned that the six-year veteran will be "two weeks behind" in terms of his preparation. After all, Ahanmisi was unable to participate in the team's 5-on-5 scrimmages.
Nonetheless, he expects Ahanmisi to be a vital contributor to the team in their campaign. Ahanmisi averaged 8 points, 4.3 rebounds, and 1.7 assists per game for the Aces in the 2019 PBA Governors' Cup, after Alaska acquired him in August.
"We look forward that he'll be joining us, and he'll be part of the future games," said Cariaso.
Initially, PBA players were only allowed to enter the bubble until October 10, after which they would no longer be allowed to participate in the All-Filipino Cup. The Commissioner's Office opted to do away with this rule, however, welcoming even latecomers.
The Aces will gun for their first game on Wednesday against the similarly winless Meralco Bolts.