The ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) announces that it is indefinitely suspending competitions due to the continued spread of COVID-19 in the region. With the World Health Organization declaring COVID-19 as a global pandemic, the ABL, with the unanimous support of all its member teams, sees no other recourse but to halt competitions in its ongoing tenth season.
With the safety of our teams and fans in mind, the league has followed every protocol, obeyed travel restrictions, and erred on the side of caution at every step to protect everyone involved. The ABL was one of the first leagues to react to the current health crisis with the postponement of more than 50 games that started early February. Only a single ABL game has been played after February 23.
This unprecedented situation demanded due diligence from the ABL’s part to ensure that the voice of all stakeholders will be heard and their needs met. All teams needed ample time to sort out their contracts as they also have commitments to advertisers, venues, and broadcast partners that had to be ironed out before we reached a unified decision.
The ABL explored all options in an effort to continue to deliver top-quality basketball and entertainment to our loyal fans. The league looked at booking neutral venues where multiple teams could play some of their postponed games. However, the travel restrictions in the region, the quarantine requirements upon the teams’ return to their respective countries, and heeding the advice of multiple government institutions have led to the decision to suspend our season.
We thank all the teams for their patience and their willingness to exhaust all means to push through. The ABL will be closely monitoring the situation in the region as it plots a path to move forward.