It has been just over a month since the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) suspended its playoff series in both divisions because of the COVID-19 pandemic. President of the NPBA James Price said that he and his team are optimistic that they will finish the playoffs whenever the country returns to a state of normalcy.
The last game to be played in NPBA playoffs was game one of the division one semifinal series between the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes and the Discount Distributors Rockets on Saturday, March 14. The Rockets won that game, 86-59, to go up 1-0 in that series.
Teams have not been practicing and players have not been working out collectively. To rectify this, Price said whenever the “all clear” sign is given, the league will put in place a grace period and then resume with its playoffs.
“We have plans to finish the remainder of this season once this is over with. We will look at how best we can finish it out in a timely fashion,” Price said.
Price said he has been in constant contact with players, teams and his executive team since the suspension of the season. He said cancelation of the season is not on the table at this time.
A different playoff format is being taken into consideration once the league resumes.
“We have to consider that,” Price said. “The A.F. Adderley Gymnasium is used for more than night league basketball. Government league uses the gym the same nights that we use it. We may have to look at a different format for the playoffs with the remaining teams that are playing.”
Price was tight-lipped as to what format they are considering. He said discussions will take place between league executives and team representatives.
The Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) was set to hold its annual national round-robin tournament this month. Price said that has been pushed back because of the COVID-19 pandemic.
This is Price’s first season at the helm of the NPBA. He said play in the league was extremely competitive this year.
“We had a good, promising season as far as the play of teams is concerned. We had one or two drop-offs, but for the most part, play was competitive,” he said.
Price said he wants all the fans, affiliated clubs and players of the NPBA to stay safe during this time, give God thanks and heed to the protocol put in place by health care and government officials.
The other two teams left standing in the NPBA Division I semifinals are the defending champions, the undefeated Commonwealth Bank Giants, and the Breezes High Flyers. The Giants lead that series 1-0.
In the NPBA Division II semifinals, the Leno Eagles Nest took a surprising 1-0 lead over the Sun Oil Rockets. The other two teams are the Asphalt Maintenance Pirates and the Your Essential Store Giants. That series did not get underway due to the suspension of league play.