NBL pulls pin on grand final series
THE final two games of the NBL's grand final series have been cancelled, with the league still to confirm if a winner will be crowned.
Defending champions Perth lead the best-of-five series 2-1 over minor premiers Sydney ahead of the intended game four in Perth on Friday, with the most recent two games played in empty stadiums due to the threat of coronavirus.
But the NBL on Tuesday announced the cancellation of the remaining games after the Kings expressed their reluctance to continue the series and fly to Perth as planned on Wednesday.
The remaining games of the NBL Grand Final Series have been cancelled, with a decision on the outcome of the championship to be determined in the next 48 hours.— NBL (@NBL) March 17, 2020
#NBL20 has been, and will always be remembered as incredible. We'll be back, bigger and better in #NBL21 pic.twitter.com/qEvpniTGiP
"We respect the decision in what are extraordinary times for everyone," NBL owner and executive chairman, Larry Kestelman, said.
"We are understanding of not just the players' health and wellbeing but also their desire to be with their families, especially given so many of them have family overseas.
"Having consulted with the Australian Basketball Players' Association we have decided the remaining games shall not be played. With Perth leading the best of five game series 2-1, we will now consider a decision on the outcome of the championship over the next 48 hours.
"We acknowledge both teams for what has been a fantastic series and season."
Sydney is the only team to have gone through an entire NBL season on top of the ladder and Perth was leading the grand final series.
"This has been an incredible season for the NBL and one of the best in our 41-year history with record attendances and world-class basketball. We thank all of our teams, officials, staff, partners and fans for their outstanding support and we look forward to returning even bigger and better in 2020-21," Kestelman said.
"We wish everyone around Australia and around the world all the very best and to stay safe during these challenging times."
A decision on the final outcome of the season has yet to be decided upon by NBL bosses.