Chairman of East Zone Basketball Commission Chevon Le Gendre

While sports administrators around the world contemplate the pausing and postponement of sporting events this year, chairman of the East Zone Basketball Commission (EZBC), Chevon Le Gendre, remains hopeful that this season hasn’t been lost to the coronavirus.

“We’re in an unpredictable situation at the moment and there’s no fixed answer to when competition in the East Zone can begin,” Le Gendre said when addressing the likely start of 2020 season.

“What we can say is that the health of our players, officials, the fans, that is our primary focus. So, we’re paying attention to the guidance provided by the national, and international, medical officials, and we’ll work to move forward from there.”

Following the successful hosting of the 2019 EZBC Championships, this season seemed to offer a host of opportunities for growth within the Zone. The emergence of COVID-19 altered the EZBC’s plans and restricted the proposed May 30 start date.

Le Gendre noted that when society returns to some degree of normalcy, he anticipates there’ll be discussions among the members of the National Basketball Federation of T&T (NBFTT) board of directors to assess the situation and decide on a way forward. Currently, the Federation’s constitution outlines specific timeframes for Zonal, National and Independently hosted competitions. He foresees some adjustments may be required to accommodate each grouping, but they are hopeful for an overall improvement.

“Teams were very excited about the start of the 2020 season, so many were left disappointed by the impact of the coronavirus,” Le Gendre said. “What we have seen, however, is players and coaches utilising innovative ways to work on fitness, tactics, and we continue to encourage teams to use this down-time to finetune their administrative operations as well.”

While potential scenarios of presenting the season are considered, the chairman emphasized that the EZBC has only outlined ideas and is nowhere near a final decision.

“Everyone is looking forward to the return of on-court action, but we have no intention of compromising the safety of stakeholders to facilitate it. Extreme patience will be exercised when coming to a decision, and as mentioned before, this will be guided by the suggestions of medical experts.”