NBL Finals Game 2 to be played in Perth without fans
It looks like the Perth Wildcats' Red Army might not be there to provide their usual boisterous support, when the second game of the NBL Finals tips off.
According to an official release via the NBL, it's been confirmed that no fans will be allowed entry for Friday night's game, when the Wildcats play the visiting Sydney Kings.
"After consultation with local, state and federal authorities as well as our clubs, we have made a decision that the remainder of the Hungry Jack's NBL Grand Final Series presented by MG between the Sydney Kings and Perth Wildcats will be closed to the general public," NBL owner Larry Kestelman shared in the release.
"The health and well-being of our players, staff, officials and fans is paramount. As a family sport we felt this was the only decision to make.
"We commend the Kings, Wildcats and their ownership groups for supporting this move despite being a difficult commercial decision for all concerned. But they were just as resolute as us in regard to prioritising the welfare of players, staff and everyone else concerned ahead of commercial considerations.
"We will continue to monitor the situation and follow all protocols as outlined by the relevant authorities. In the event of a player, staff member or official testing positive to Coronavirus we will immediately suspend the series.
"I’m proud of our sport and the stance we have taken during this difficult time. We thank our teams, players, staff, officials and fans for their understanding and patience during what is a very challenging time for everybody and we wish both teams the best of the luck for the remainder of the series."
The NBA officially announced a suspension to its 2020/21 season on Thursday, followed by FIBA, EuroLeague and more.
The Perth Wildcats currently lead 1-0, taking the first game of this series in Sydney against the Kings last week, emerging with a narrow 88-86 road win, behind MVP Bryce Cotton's 32-point performance.
Should fan crowd not be a factor, it would make sense for the Wildcats and Kings to play out Game 3 in Perth, to minimise travel and further risk of infection, and potentially even shorten the series.