Tasmania, Cairns cases force NBL changes

·2-min read

The NBL has been forced to postpone several games after coronavirus cases left the Tasmania JackJumpers and Cairns Taipans without enough players to field teams.

The JackJumpers have recorded 10 positive cases among players and coaches after rapid antigen and PCR testing.

The team's next two games, against the Sydney Kings at home and South East Melbourne Phoenix away on January 8 and 10 respectfully, have been postponed under NBL protocols.

The Taipans' upcoming home games against the Kings on January 8 and the Brisbane Bullets on January 11 have also been postponed.

Cairns received positive test results on Thursday and do not have enough players to field a team due to isolation requirements and injuries.

Nine of the JackJumpers' cases are believed to be players.

"Unfortunately, a number of players and coaching staff have now contracted the virus and we're unable to field the eight players required for a game," JackJumpers chief executive Simon Brookhouse said.

"The players' safety is absolutely paramount and we will assist their recovery as best we can in order to continue a competitive inaugural season."

All players and performance staff are now isolating and will undergo regular testing.

Brookhouse said the JackJumpers will work with the Kings and Phoenix to find appropriate dates for rescheduled fixtures, with their round-seven game against New Zealand Breakers in Hobart on January 14 expected to go ahead.

"We're certainly not the only NBL team directly impacted by COVID cases and being adaptable to change is one of the challenges of elite sport especially in the current environment," Brookhouse said.

"I don't suspect this short break and recovery time will disrupt the boys too much."

Brookhouse said all players were due out of isolation by Tuesday and Wednesday.

"A couple don't have any symptoms at all. They were quite shocked when they tested positive," he said.

"There's a few with a scratchy throat and a few other things, but ultimately they're very mild symptoms."

The NBL has been forced to postpone or reschedule several matches due to COVID-19 cases at clubs.

The Perth Wildcats' match against the Adelaide 36ers on Friday night had already been shifted to January 12 in Adelaide.

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