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Local Basketball Leagues Ready To Return To Court

f Thursday, July 16, 2020

#LOCAL basketball is ready to return to the court and complete their 2020 season.

#Both the New Providence Basketball Association and the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association presidents said their league’s have adhered to all necessary COVID-19 protocols and are ready to resume the playoffs pending government approval at the AF Adderley Gymnasium.

#The NPBA was one game into its semi-final round when the league suspended play in March.

#President James Price said when the league resumes play, the semi-finals will restart at 0-0 records and both remaining rounds will be reduced.

#“We want the players and fans to know that we will continue our season from the semi-finals where we stopped and into the championship.

#“We decided we will shorten both series. We will reduce the championship series from best-of-seven to best-of-five and the semi-finals to best of three,” he said.

#“Everyone knows that AF [Adderley] is used for multiple purposes so we have limited time. Right now we are adhering to all the protocols under FIBA and under the Bahamas guidelines. We have all that in place, we are just waiting for a firm date to be set in place so that we can use the gym.”

#In one Division I semi-final, the Commonwealth Bank Giants will face the Breezes High Flyers and in the other, the Rockets will face the University of The Bahamas Mingoes.

#In the Division II, the Sun Oil Rockets will face Leno’s Eagles Nest in one half of the semi-final.

#In the NPWBA, the Discount Distributors Rockets and the Bees Trucking Destroyers will vie for the 2020 title. “We are in our championship phase. We are just awaiting the okay to finish our finals,” league president Devon Johnson said.

#“Hopefully we will start within another two weeks. We are looking forward to seeing the fans back and to seeing the championship round.”

#Bahamas Basketball Federation President Mario Bowleg said the league has complied with the return to play protocols established by basketball’s international governing body.

#“The federation has drafted a letter to the Ministry of Youth Sports and Culture who will then receive authorisation from the higher powers to ensure we have all protocols and standards in place before we commence play. We have met the standard that was set by FIBA which is the same standards the NBA has to follow when they restart their season,” he said.

#“We do believe that if we decide to allow fans, once approved by the authorities, that those limited fans will practice social distancing. It’s not as if we just want to go out there and bounce the ball, we want to adhere to the protocols put in place by the higher authorities.”

#Dates have been established, but the federation awaits government approval before a proper timeline can be established.

#“We have a date, we don’t think it will be difficult to get approval once the competent authorities see the protocols we have in place,” Bowleg said.

#“We are prepared with temperature checks and sanitisation throughout the gym to ensure this pandemic will not be spread throughout the game of basketball. The medical personnel and equipment is there so we are ready to go.”

#Both leagues have been active off the court since the pandemic forced the suspension of play.

#The NPBA distributed care packages to its players, coaches, managers, referees and table officials during the quarantine.

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