Yao Ming, the Chinese Basketball Association president, said there are three potential plans for the league to resume its season.
Appearing on CCTV last weekend, the CBA boss outlined the 20-team league’s options as follows: complete the full schedule, alter the schedule and cancel some games to shorten the season, or declare the regular season finished and head right to postseason play based on the current standings.
Furthermore, Yao Ming said, teams would be quarantined in hotels for the remainder of the 2019-20 campaign.
Advice from medical experts
The nation’s leading respiratory expert, Zhong Nanshan, and his medical team have advised the league.
Zhong “has become a household name in China for strongly advising the central government to adopt strict virus-control measures,” according to a published report.
As a result, Yao Ming and other CBA officials have plotted a course to start playing again.
Yao Ming addresses schedule format
Yao Ming noted that the CBA’s plans include the possibility of staging games at two locations to finish the season. Games will be held behind closed doors.
“The plan we are preparing is to keep the season as complete as possible and to play the remainder of the season at tournaments instead of the home-and-away format,” he told CCTV on Friday.
No concrete plans yet
The Chinese Basketball Association, however, hasn’t finalized plans for the restart date, Yao Ming said.
“We are very confident at the moment that we can get our league back on track,” he added.
“The improving situation regarding virus control and prevention as well as the presence of Zhong’s team have boosted our confidence for the restart.”
Yao Ming went on: “We will notify the teams 21 days before the league restarts once we make the final decision.”
The CBA had hoped to get the season started again in May. That wish was shelved, however, due to concerns of another COVID-19 outbreak. In addition, the Chinese government instructed Yao Ming’s league to put that plan on hold.
When the CBA suspended operations in late January, the Guangdong Southern Tigers had a league-leading 28-2 record. Sixteen games remain on the schedule.