|Basketball fans will have to wait even longer for the VBA season to begin. — Photo courtesy of VBA
HÀ NỘI — The organisers of the Vietnam Basketball Association (VBA) league have postponed the 2020 season yet again, this time until the end of the year, VTV has reported.
While local football leagues have returned with gusto and have even been able to hold matches with fans in attendance unlike in other countries, it looks like Vietnamese basketball fans will have to wait longer for action to start.
With the COVID-19 pandemic affecting the whole world and with Việt Nam’s borders effectively closed, the VBA has struggled to bring coaches, players, supervisors and referees from other countries to Việt Nam.
Currently, international flights to Việt Nam are still very limited, while the foreign personnel are in many different parts of the world, making it difficult to arrange transportation for them.
The first overall pick of the 2020 VBA draft and former Harvard Crimson star Christian Juzang is one such player stuck in the US, unable to join his Saigon Heat teammates in HCM City.
The compulsory 14-day quarantine for all arrivals into Việt Nam complicates matters further.
While every team has had difficulties in preparing for the season with players and coaches marooned abroad, the Nha Trang Dolphins may be in the worst position of all seven squads as newcomers to the league.
The team from coastal Khánh Hòa Province was founded earlier this year and the 2020 season was set to be their debut, but their preparations for tip-off have been severely hampered by the pandemic.
Head coach Ryan Marchand has been unable to join the team in Việt Nam due to COVID-19 border restrictions and star heritage player point guard Khoa Tran, who joined the team from Saigon Heat in the offseason, is also not yet in the country.
It is expected that the season will take place at the end of 2020 instead of from May 30 to September 18 as previously planned. The VBA said an official tip-off time would be announced as soon as possible.
Last season, the Saigon Heat won the title for the first time after a thrilling five-game series against the Cantho Catfish. — VNS