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Basketball is on the way back!

After months of inactivity, the New Providence Basketball Association (NPBA) and the New Providence Women’s Basketball Association (NPWBA) are both closer to resuming play, although no definitive restart date has been set as yet.

The announcement was made during a press conference held by the Bahamas Basketball Federation (BBF) at the Kendal G.L. Isaacs National Gymnasium.

The NPBA will continue play from the semifinal round and then head into the championship. Both rounds will veer away from the traditional format of best-of-five in the semifinals and best-of-seven in the championship. Instead, the semifinals will be in a best-of-three format and the championship round will be held in a best-of-five format.

“We have looked at all the protocols under FIBA (International Basketball Federation) and The Bahamas guidelines in terms of medical. We have all that in place. We are just waiting on them to set a date that we can get to use the gym,” said NPBA President James Price.

They will be engaging in games at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium.

The NPWBA is already into its championship phase.

A major change to finish the season will be a change of venue. They normally play at the D.W. Davis Gymnasium but they will now be playing their games at the A.F. Adderley Gymnasium when the season resumes.

President of the NPWBA Devon Johnson hopes they can resume action in another two weeks.

In the NPWBA Finals, Johnson and his Discount Distributors Rockets were set to go up against Coach Donillo “Donnie” Culmer and the defending champions, the Destroyers. Johnson joked that he “got something for Culmer”.

Over on the men’s side, in Division I, the Discount Distributors Rockets will go up against the University of The Bahamas (UB) Mingoes in one half of the semifinals. In the other semifinal series, the defending champions Commonwealth Bank Giants will play the Breezes High Flyers.

In Division II play, the Leno Eagles Nest will go up against the Sun Oil Rockets in one side of the semifinals. The other semifinal series will see the Asphalt Maintenance Pirates taking on the Your Essential Store Giants for the right to go to the championship.

President of the BBF Mario Bowleg said that the federation has drafted a letter to the Ministry of Youth, Sports and Culture on the restart of basketball in the country.

“The ministry will receive authorization from the higher powers, the government, and they will ensure that we have all the protocols in place and meet the standard before we commence play of these leagues,” said Bowleg. “We have met the standard that was set by FIBA which is the same standard that the NBA (National Basketball Association) has to follow at the month when they restart their season. We do believe that if we decide to allow fans, once approval is given by the government and the authorities, it will be a limited amount and the spacing with how they are seated will be adhered to.”

Bowleg said that they do have a start date in mind and do not think that it will be much of a difficulty getting that approved once personnel see the equipment that they have in place. He said they will have temperature checks and other equipment will be in place, and feels that they should have the green light to proceed with the start of basketball.

Both leagues had their season stopped back in March.

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