B/Ball: NBBF Considering ‘Bubble’ Format For 2021 Domestic Season

The Nigerian Basketball Federation is exploring the possibility of organising the 2021 domestic basketball season in a bio-secure bubble it announced on Monday.

The bubble is one of several options under consideration for the new season and follows the success of similar formats in the NBA last season as well as at the last FIBA Afrobasket qualification series in Kigali, Rwanda.

The NBBF said the harsh reality of the covid-19 pandemic and the new normal means there is a need to quickly adapt to the situation.

“What we are trying to do most especially in basketball is to learn from the experience that we have had from the organisation of the NBA where they set up bubbles and people played as long as they were kept in one place with very limited contact with the outside world,” the Federation noted in a statement.

According to the NBBF, the best decision for organising the 2021 domestic season will be taken after consultations with stakeholders and club owners ahead of the 2021 Zenith Women Premier League and the Total sponsored Men’s Division One and Two leagues.

Referencing the FIBA Afrobasket qualifiers held in November, 2020, the federation said, “The same thing happened in Kigali at the end of November with FIBA Africa showing it could organise the bubble also for the 2021 Afrobasket qualifiers. That was successful and we have another outing in February which will be held in similar fashion.”

With the NBBF currently in talks with Total Nigeria and Zenith Banks, the 2021 calendar is expected to be released soon as clubs have already been placed on alert.