It’s still too early to say the world is on the way to recovery from the novel coronavirus pandemic. The worst is yet to come in many parts of the globe, and it’s fair to argue that no one country has succeeded in keeping the spread in check for good. In the midst of the uncertainty, however, all have remarkably tried to keep or restore a semblance of normalcy to their affairs. In Japan, for instance, the B. League decided to resume competition over the weekend after having suspended the season in mid-February. In South Korea, meanwhile, the Korean Basketball League is prepping for the return to action of its 10 teams by the end of the month.
Which is not to say things are looking up. The B. League’s resumption of play did not come without complications. Even as precautionary measures were taken, principal among them the banning of spectators, not all matches on the docket wound up pushing through. One had to be scuttled because three players recorded a fever prior to tipoff, while another met the same fate after a referee was likewise found to be running a temperature. A third continued, but without three otherwise-healthy imports who opted to stay in the sidelines due to fears of contracting the virus.
All the same, the intent of hoops organizations is to pick up from where campaigns have left off. It’s the case even in China, where the virus first took root; in anticipation of games being held in April, the Chinese Basketball Association has asked its foreign players to return to the country. And, significantly, many have heeded the call. Needless to say, the objectives are commercial in nature from either side; due to the delay, franchises lose potential revenues and stars forego salaries. Whether the prospect of holding set-tos in closed doors is enough remains to be seen, and will undoubtedly be subject to determination by health authorities.
In any case, optimism reigns. If there is anything the moves underscore, it’s the resiliency of all and sundry. Everybody finds ways to overcome unexpected developments. More than just livelihoods are at stake, but life goes on. And mankind manages not just to survive, but thrive.
Anthony L. Cuaycong has been writing Courtside since BusinessWorld introduced a Sports section in 1994. He is a consultant on strategic planning, operations and Human Resources management, corporate communications, and business development.