Ergin Ataman, coach of Anadolu Efes Istanbul in the EuroLeague, is confident the league will resume play in July, according to Ennio Terrasi Borghesan of Sportando. Ataman believes all the teams will be brought to one city because of the risks of traveling, and games will take place behind closed doors.
“EuroLeague’s foresight is to gather all the teams in the most risk-free city and play the six regular season rounds remaining there, and then organize a Final Eight: this is the most likely scenario for me,” Ataman said in a teleconference with fans. “The city’s announcement will be made in May. But I think it will not be in Istanbul. My guess is that it can be played in a city in Germany. There were already some preparations for the Final Four. In summary, I think the Final Eight will be held in the city where the Final Four was scheduled (Colonia). I think it would be a big problem if the remaining games of this season are not played.”
There’s more international news to pass along:
- The Chinese Basketball Association may try to finish its season without foreign players, Borghesan relays in a separate story. That’s the recommendation of Liaoning’s general manager, whose roster includes Lance Stephenson, Brandon Bass and O.J. Mayo. The original report came from Chinese journalist Zhang Duo. Borghesan notes that several U.S. players left China after the CBA delayed the resumption of its season last month.
- Liga ACB, the top professional league in Spain, will consider a 12-team tournament played in a single location, Borghesan adds in another piece. The proposed tournament, which will be discussed in a teleconference Monday, would start June 15. Teams would be divided into two groups of six and the winners of each group would meet in a best-of-five final.
- The National Basketball League in Australia has reached an agreement with its players union calling for salary reductions for 2020/21, Borghesian writes. The deal involves tiered cuts ranging from 27.5% for players making between $80K and $99K and 50% for those receiving more than $200K. Players will be given a two-week window to opt out of their current deals, which could affect the status of former NBA guard Bryce Cotton, who has become one of Australia’s top players.