MANILA -- The Asean Basketball League (ABL) announced on Tuesday that it has postponed the game between Alab Pilipinas and the Macau Black Bears due to growing concerns regarding the novel coronavirus (2019-nCoV).
In a statement, the league said match, scheduled for Feb. 16 at the Sta. Rosa Multi-Purpose Sports Complex in Laguna, was called off following the travel restrictions that have been enforced in certain countries, particularly Macao and Hong Kong.
"As the World Health Organization (WHO) advances its efforts in investigating the global health emergency concerning the novel coronavirus, the respective local health and travel authorities of several countries have furthered their support with control policies,” the statement read.
The Alab-Black Bears clash was not the only match that was postponed as 14 other games were also affected by the coronavirus scare, all either involving the Black Bears, cross-town rivals Macau Wolf Warriors, or the Eastern Long Lions.
Hong Kong, where Eastern is based, just reported its first death caused by coronavirus.
On the other hand, Macao is taking precautionary measures for the next two weeks to prevent the said virus from reaching its jurisdiction.
"The league is evaluating the situation on a day-to-day basis as it values the utmost safety of its teams, players, personnel, and most especially its fans,” the league said.
“A revised schedule will be released once the situation with the coronavirus improves and the aforementioned travel restrictions are lifted," it added.
China’s National Health Commission (NHC) on Tuesday reported that the death toll in China from the novel coronavirus outbreak climbed to 425.
In a statement, the commission said it has so far received a total of 20,438 confirmed cases, adding a total of 64 people died over the last 24 hours.
More than 171,000 people are under medical observation, while the number of people discharged reached 632.
A 44-year-old man died of the coronavirus in the Philippines, the first death confirmed outside China, according to the World Health Organization.
The patient was a Chinese national from Wuhan city, where the virus was first detected. (PNA)