Alab-Black Bears clash postponed due to coronavirus scare

Steven Thomas and the rest of the Macau Wolf Warriors were among those heavily affected by the postponement of games. Nikki Collantes (file photo)
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA—The growing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus has reached the ABL.

The league announced on Tuesday the postponement of 15 games due to the nCoV situation, one of which involves Alab Pilipinas.

Alab's scheduled game on Feb. 16 against the Macau Black Bears was among those affected by the fixture shakeup.

Alab was scheduled to host the Black Bears at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Laguna on the said date, but "following the travel restrictions that have been enforced in certain countries" as said in a statement, the game has been postponed.

The ABL continued, "As the World Health Organization (WHO) advances its efforts in investigating the global health emergency concerning the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV), the respective local health and travel authorities of several countries have furthered their support with control policies."

The 15 games that were held off either involve the Black Bears, the Macau Wolf Warriors, or the Eastern Long Lions.

Hong Kong, where Eastern is based, just reported its first casualty, a 39-year-old man who returned home from Wuhan on Jan. 23 and was diagnosed with the said virus on Friday.

Macau, on the other hand, is eyeing precautionary measures like possible casino shutdowns to keep the virus from reaching its place.

"The league is evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis as it values the utmost safety of its teams, players, personnel, and most especially its fans. A revised schedule will be released once the situation with the coronavirus improves and the aforementioned travel restrictions are lifted," the statement concluded.

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