European basketball leagues follow NBA’s lead, suspend play

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In the wake of the NBA’s decision to suspend its season due to coronavirus concerns, European basketball leagues have followed suit with postponements and cancellations that have brought the professional basketball world to a near-complete halt.

The four major pan-European competitions — the Euroleague, EuroCup, FIBA Champions League and FIBA Europe Cup — are all indefinitely suspended, according to league officials.

Spanish ACB league champion and Euroleague participant Real Madrid announced that a member of its basketball team tested positive for coronavirus. The team elected to quarantine its basketball and football teams, given that both squads share a practice facility.

The local ACB league announced that all games scheduled to be held in Spain over the next two weeks have been postponed until April.

In Italy, the Serie A championship, as well as all other sporting competitions, have been suspended until at least April 3, per government regulations.

The French LNB league announced this upcoming weekend’s games will be played with government-imposed restrictions of no more than 1,000 people in attendance, while postponing further games until at least April 15.

In Germany, easyCredit BBL league officials announced that games are indefinitely suspended effective immediately. Teams will meet within the next 14 days “to discuss the current situation and possible scenarios and options.”

Restrictions on mass gatherings in Ukraine caused the local basketball federation to announce it has canceled the remainder of their Superleague competition, making BC Dnipro the league champion after finishing in first place.

The Adriatic League, consisting of teams from Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia, Montenegro, Bosnia and Macedonia, announced that all competitions under its umbrella (including the league’s second division, and U19 Championship) are suspended “with immediate effect and until further notice.” The Adriatic first division had just one round remaining of regular-season play before four teams advanced to the playoffs.

In Greece, the ESASK league board of directors unanimously voted to postpone the upcoming weekend round of competition “for preventive public health reasons,” effectively suspending the competition until further notice.

Radosław Piesiewicz, president of the Polish basketball league, announced that domestic games will be suspended until at least March 25.

The VTB League, consisting of teams from Russia, Poland, Estonia, Belarus and Kazakhstan, appears to be moving forward as planned, with a game between Lokomotiv Kuban and Kalev scheduled to be played later Thursday.

The Turkish basketball federation has yet to announce any disruptions to its local leagues and appears to be moving forward with scheduled games this weekend.

Source: espn.com

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