ASEAN basketball games in Taiwan postponed due to entry restrictions

Taipei The ASEAN basketball league (ABL) has postponed its upcoming games in Taiwan due to the government's ban on the entry of certain travelers as part of its prevention efforts against the deadly 2019 novel coronavirus (2019 nCoV).

A total of six games that were scheduled for Taiwan in February and early March have been postponed to indefinite dates, according to the ABL website.

The two Taiwan teams in the league that were slated to play home games over the next month are the Formosa Dreamers and Taipei Fubon Braves, which are based in Changhua City and Taipei, respectively.

According to the ABL schedule, the Formosa Dreamers were due to play back to back games against the Hong Kong Eastern on Feb. 8 and 9 and the Macau Wolf Warriors on Feb. 22 and 23 at Changhua County Stadium.

The Taipei Fubon Braves, meanwhile, were scheduled to play the Macau Wolf Warriors on Feb. 29 and March 1 at Taipei Heping Basketball Gymnasium.

In addition to the six games in Taiwan, another nine have been postponed by the ABL, which cited travel restrictions enforced by certain countries due to the 2019 nCoV epidemic in China and its spread across the word.

Taiwan is among the countries that have implemented such restrictions, as it has imposed a ban on all Chinese nationals and tightened its entry requirements for residents of Hong Kong and Macau, and foreign nationals who have visited any of those areas in the 14 day period prior to their arrival in Taiwan.

The travel restrictions pose a problem for the ABL, which allows each team to employ three world imports that are usually the star players in the league.

"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," the ABL said on its website.

It said a revised schedule will be released once the 2019 nCoV situation improves and the travel restrictions are lifted.

The 2019 nCoV, which started in the Chinese city of Wuhan last December, has since resulted in more than 30,000 infections and 638 deaths, mostly in China. To date, Taiwan has confirmed 16 cases. Last week, the World Health Organization declared the virus a global health emergency.

Source: Focus Taiwan News Channel