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‘Big plans’ for basketball delayed

Jose Rodriguez T. Senase / Khmer Times Share:
Opposing players try to outdo each other during last year’s High School Basketball League. KT/Yeun Punleau

A top official of the Cambodia Basketball Federation (CBF) said many of their plans to promote and develop basketball have been temporary put on hold because of the escalating health crisis.

Austin Koledoye, technical director of the CBF, said they have already laid out plans for many sports events and activities for this year, but they have no choice but to postpone them because of the coronavirus outbreak.

He mentioned the National Championships, Cambodia Basketball League (CBL), 3×3 Competition, High School Basketball League as among the basketball events affected by the pandemic.

The CBF Congress, according to him, will also be moved to another date. The annual event, which gathers basketball stakeholders in Cambodia, was supposed to be held on March 25.

All the programmes were supposed to start by April and roll till December 2020.

“We were supposed to set up the CBL announcement by March, giving teams one month to prepare,” he said, referring to the high-powered basketball competition which features both local and foreign players.

According to him, they also secured the support of Yuetai Group, a leading real estate company, for their basketball activities. “And all our events for this year we have already secured the support from Yuetai Group,” he noted.

“It is frustrating as we had bigger plans for basketball development this year,” he added.

Koledoye said they will roll out the new dates once the World Health Organization declares the health crisis is over and with the approval of responsible authorities.

“For CBF activities, we will await the FIBA’s new calendar and the go-ahead from MoEYS before setting new dates,” he said, referring to the global governing for basketball and the Ministry of Education, Youth and Sports, which oversees sports activities in the Kingdom.

Koledoye said that working to their advantage is the fact 2020 is not a SEA Games year. “As you know 2020 is not a SEA Games year, so we are very flexible with dates,” he pointed out.

Basketball as a sport is increasingly becoming popular in Cambodia, helped by large number of expats from basketball-loving countries like China, United States, Philippines, Australia, Japan, Korea, Taiwan and Nigeria.

So far, Cambodia has recorded 103 confirmed cases of coronavirus infection. There are fears that the number will increase in the next few weeks. The ensuing health crisis has led to the cancellation or postponement of most business, cultural and sports activities in this Kingdom of 16 million people.

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