The S.B.L. has indeed significant advantages over the NBA, as well as various leagues in the region which have either stopped their efforts to relaunch (China) or decided to definitively cancel the rest of the season after unsuccessful restarts (Japan and Korea South). The Taiwanese league has only five teams – in a country that has faced the coronavirus pandemic like any other. Despite its proximity and considerable commercial ties to China, where the coronavirus originally spread, the successful containment of Taiwan – fewer than 400 reported cases of Covid-19 and only six deaths as of April 10, according to the island’s health minister, have been attributed by many experts to lessons learned and measures adopted after the onset of acute respiratory syndrome severe (SARS) in 2003.
“Life here is pseudo normal,” said Metcalf.
A Taiwanese government order, however, closed all government-controlled arenas on March 19, suspending indoor events with more than 100 people and all outdoor events with more than 500. S.B.L. Initially planned to close for two weeks, but managed to move a few days later to the HaoYu Basketball training center to organize all the games there and ensure that gatherings in the building never exceed 100 occupants.
The only people authorized inside, beyond the playing teams and the referees, are cameramen for television broadcasts, officials found at the marker table and journalists at a press table behind one of the baskets. Many working in these capacities, as well as various team staff and inactive players on the bench, wear masks – some are forced to look in socks if they forget that only rubber-soled shoes are allowed. the interior. Gray curtains hang over the windows behind the opposite basket, covering the glass of an adjacent weight room to keep it hidden from viewers.
“It looks like an adult league,” said Charles Garcia, the American star of Pauian.
“It’s a recreation center,” said Metcalf, “for lack of a better term. “