ASEAN Basketball League ends season early due to COVID-19

07/16/2020 12:39 PM
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CNA file photo
CNA file photo

Taipei, July 16 (CNA) The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) has officially ended its 2019-2020 season, due to the COVID-19 pandemic, according to a statement issued by the league.

The 2019-2020 season, which began Nov. 16, 2019, has been ended ahead of schedule because there are no safe ways to complete the campaign, according to the ABL, which comprises 10 teams from East Asia and Southeast Asia, including Taiwan's Formosa Dreamers and Taipei Fubon Braves.

"The league recognizes that the COVID-19 pandemic continues to present significant challenges to our operation and safety of everyone, thus rendering completion of the league improbable," said Wee Siew Kim, board of the ABL.

The season, which saw the league tip off its 10th year, will be categorized as incomplete without a champion, the ABL said, adding that it sets its sights on the next season in 2021.

The league initially suspended all fixtures on March 13, and continued to explore a number of options to complete the season, but its operations were heavily impacted by border closures and lockdowns to contain the coronavirus.

COVID-19 which was declared a pandemic by the World Health Organization (WHO) March 11, had infected more than 13 million people around the world and killed more than 578,000 as of Thursday.

Before the announcement, the ABL had postponed games, including about 10 scheduled to be played in Taiwan in February and March.

Prior to the suspension, the Formosa Dreamers were in fourth place in the league with an 8-6 record, while the Taipei Fubon Braves were one spot below in fifth place with a 9-8 record.

(By William Yen)

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