Start of the season delayed for Fraser Valley Bandits

Start of the season delayed for Fraser Valley Bandits

The Canadian Elite Basketball League has pushed its openers from May into June because of COVID-19

The Canadian Elite Basketball League was set to tip off its season in early May, but the league has pushed that back to June due to COVID-19 concerns.

Abbotsford’s Fraser Valley Bandits were going to host the defending CEBL champion Saskatchewan Rattlers May 8.

But with a ban on public gatherings expected to still be in place, and venues like the Abbotsford Centre closed to the public, the league made the only decision it could.

With the health and safety of our fans, players and staff being our highest priority, we will continue to plan contingencies for a new start date and creative formats that will enable us to play as many games as possible this summer,” said CEBL commissioner Mike Morreale in a league news release. “Our business model and staffs are created to be innovative and adaptable, which is especially important in today’s fluid environment. While no one can be certain of what the coming weeks will bring, our teams will continue to sign players and prepare to showcase many of Canada’s best professional players again this summer.”

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Morreale believes sports will play a big role in helping society return to some form of ‘normal’ following the pandemic, and he looks forward to the CEBL being a part of that.

“The CEBL is in a unique position to help restore and inspire our local communities when the time comes to once again enjoy the collective experience of a world class sports event,” he said. “As we look forward to that day, we will remain in constant contact with public health and government officials who are leading us through these trying times.

“During this time of unprecedented challenge our hearts go out to all who have been impacted by the COVID-19 outbreak through separation from loved ones, loss of income, illness or death. We are extremely grateful to the courageous health care workers and service providers who assume personal risk in battling the virus while keeping our communities healthy, safe, and functioning at their best.”

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