Basketball teams await word from association amidst COVID 19 postponement

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By Neto Baptiste

Teams competing in the Antigua and Barbuda Basketball Association (ABBA) Division One competition are awaiting word from the governing body here as to the next steps regarding the postponing of the league.

Coach of former league and playoff champions, George Hughes, said players are still eager to take the court amidst coronavirus fears but are cognizant of the dangers associated with the potentially deadly virus.

“Well, they are anxious and they want to play, however, we are telling them that based on the current situation that it is a wait and see. Hopefully we will get an audience with the association maybe this week to find out what’s their plan and how they envision going forward, if it’s something they don’t think is going to be able to continue or if it’s something that we just have to call the league off for this season,” he said.

Coach of league leading LJ Northside Stingerz, Michael Freeland, said a decision from the basketball association this week will dictate the team’s next move regarding its overseas-based players.

“I think the ABBA executive is meeting tonight [Tuesday] to let us know if the season will continue, if they are going to put a halt to the season or if we are going to reschedule the season for another time so I think that after that meeting we will be in a better position to know if we are going to keep the players [imported] here or let them go back home and then if they reschedule the season then we will just bring them back,” he said

Meanwhile, former national player, Bryan Matthew, said Cuties Ovals Ojays will be holding training sessions as they await further instructions also.

“Team-wise, morale is still good and we will be having practice tonight [Tuesday] because everyone still wants basketball so we will just do our inter-squad scrimmages just to keep sharp. There are a few things in place but we will see what happens but the mood in the camp is good,” he said.

“It’s a personal thing and you just have to be more prudent in terms of hygiene and all these other stuff, and once we’re practicing we are going to institute some different measures to make sure that the court is clean, the balls are good and you just have to take your own measures personally from a team perspective,” he added. The basketball association announced last Friday that it has suspended play across all three divisions for 30 days following a directive from the country’s sports ministry. Other associations have also followed suit.

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