The global effect of the Covid-19 Pandemic had seemingly been somewhat kind to Singapore….for 8 weeks. Dealing with the virus since mid-January, a combination of astute governing, a compliant populice and excellent healthcare (plus luck) kept the number of infections here in the low hundreds, unlike catastrophic spreads in countries like Italy, Iran and of course, the People’s Republic.
The BPL, after delaying the start of it’s third season by a Month, kicked off proceedings early March. BPL were the ONLY league operating in Singapore at this point, competing leagues like GBL, FastBreak Men’s League and others were not granted access to school courts; prudent measures by the international schools, given the dynamic nature of developments.
We also kept our practice rotation going, booking an alternate facility, while playing the first few BPL games. By Game 3 though, with an initial 11 players confirmed to play the night before gameday, and only 7 ultimately available, it became clear that our minds were no longer on Basketball. Multiple E.B.I-players had indirect, worrisome contact to the plague raging across the globe. Some returning from abroad, served Stay Home Notices, others had contact to friends, relatives or work colleagues who themselves were tested or were quarantined. Thankfully, none of the potential cases were positive, but, and this is coming from a Basketball-fanatic, i… was….done.
With a population of nearly Six million people, S’pore had only a few hundred confirmed cases by the second week of March, yet nearly half the E.B.I Team cancelled within hours of a game, some with cold symptoms, others with Family members waiting terrified for test results. This is not a virus to be taken lightly. At all.
As GM (and a player) of the club, i felt the only responsible course of action was to pull our still-active Weekend Squad from League play. I was beyond impressed by the level of play of the 7-man Team that was available for Game 3, giving their all behind a fantastic first half scoring run by Ricky. Yet being blown out by double-digits never felt so irrelevant.
Post-game, after conferring with the squad, i immediately informed BPL-Founder and Manager, Noel, of our decision to cease playing and to issue a refund of league fees paid, minus games played. A week later, the league “suspended” the season yet again until April 30th. That was Mid-March. With 300+ confirmed infections across the country.
Today, April 7th, Singapore , with 1375 confirmed cases, and averaging around 50 new cases every day, has basically locked down.
It is Day 1 of a Month-long “circuit breaker” measure, intended by the Government to drastically limit community spread, while avoiding any possible “superspreader” instances. A wise move given the extremely infectious nature of the Virus.
Here’s hoping these measures help lower the number of new infections. To all E.B.I players, supporters, friends, and opponents: be safe.