Basketball league resumes in China after COVID-19 hiatus

China Basketball league

Zhejiang Lions smashed Nanjing Monkey Kings 112-95 in the first match as the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league resumed after a 151-day suspension in Qingdao, Shandong province on Saturday.

Zhejiang built a 34-25 lead in the first quarter, as Zhao Yanhao scored 11 points and Sun Minghui contributed eight points, reports Xinhua news agency.

Nanjing narrowed the gap to only one point in the second quarter, but Zhejiang launched a 7-0 run and regained the advantage.

Led by center Hu Jinqiu, Zhejiang continued to extend the gap in the third quarter and established a 20-point advantage after Zhao Yanhao’s three-pointer.

In the final quarter, Nanjing still couldn’t find an efficient way to fight back and lost the game.

Hu Jinqiu scored a game-high 26 points and 17 rebounds for Zhejiang, Sun Minghui contributed 20 points and Zhao Yanhao had 22 points.

For Nanjing, Li Hongpeng got a team-high 23 points, Joseph Young pocketed 15 points and Hamed Haddadi finished with 14 points.

The CBA season was halted on February 1 due to the COVID-19 pandemic.

The remaining matches will be played behind closed doors in a championship-style format in Qingdao and the southern city of Dongguan in Guangdong province.

The coronavirus pandemic has brought the entire world to a standstill and the sporting arena is no exception. Most of the high profile tournaments including the Olympics stand postponed.

Even the biggest cricketing spectacle on the planet, the Indian Premier League (IPL), stands suspended indefinitely owing to the coronavirus pandemic. Bundesliga, La Liga, Serie A and Premier League have recently become the high-profile sporting events to resume after almost a three month period with almost no sporting activity.

A few cricketing boards around the world have only recently granted permission to their players to resume training.

The move to restart sporting leagues and tournaments comes after governments are beginning to realise that the coronavirus is here to stay for quite some time and sports among other businesses will need to find a way to co-exist with it.

The virus has already infected more than 8.5 million people around the world while claiming over 450 thousand lives. There is still no sure shot treatment of the disease and social-distancing, self-isolation and maintenance of basic hand hygiene remain the only potent weapons of protecting oneself from contracting the infection.

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