NZ Breakers forced to cancel preseason game after four positive Covid-19 tests

The New Zealand Breakers, pictured here during the preseason, had to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

Mike Owen / Getty Images

The New Zealand Breakers, pictured here during the preseason, had to self-isolate after testing positive for Covid-19.

The New Zealand Breakers were forced to cancel their last NBL preseason game after being rocked by four positive Covid tests within their larger group in Melbourne.

But team owner Matt Walsh, who has been on the tour which has been in isolation since Sunday night, said the team hope to return to the training ground as early as Wednesday or Thursday in Melbourne and continue preparations for their NBL season opener at South East Melbourne Phoenix on December 4th.

The Breakers’ scheduled pre-season visit to the Illawarra Hawks on Thursday is now over, but at this point there is no indication that the season opener is canceled. However, the situation will continue to be monitored by the NBL as more tests take place.

All players and staff at the Breakers’ camp in Australia are doubly vaccinated, and the larger group has isolated themselves since an anonymous member of the Breakers touring group felt bad immediately after the pre-season victory of Saturday night against the Phoenix – their second win in a three-game winning streak.

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Since then, three other members of the tour group of 39, which includes family members of the Breakers playgroup and staff, have tested positive.

Walsh said Thing he did not want to identify the staff who had contracted the virus but said “there are members of the staff and the playgroup who have the Covid”.

“No one is in danger of going to the hospital anytime soon,” he added. “We prepared for that possibility when we came here, knowing that at some point we could face something like this. We have been following all of the NBL protocols, at the moment we are all isolated, and we will be doing further testing tomorrow (morning) to make sure that only the four within the group have tested positive and will continue from there. “

Walsh called the shutdown a “hiccup” and said it was better to happen now than much closer to the December 4 season announcement.

“The hope is that we only have the four [positive tests] in the squad and we can start preparing again tomorrow or the next day, and we can schedule another pre-season game at some point against one of the Melbourne teams.

“Having only four preseason games is tough, so we’re going to try to replace that game. But we’ll get through it. It was almost a shock that we spent three weeks with nothing, considering that last year three weeks we had already moved twice.

“It all went a little too smoothly, with buzzers out of the panel and comeback wins, so now we have to get over that, and we will.”

Breakers owner Matt Walsh has confirmed there are four points within the squad.

Phil Walter / Getty Images

Breakers owner Matt Walsh has confirmed there are four points within the squad.

The drama began when a member of the touring group Breakers felt bad after Saturday night’s game, underwent a rapid midnight antigen test, and came back negative.

Still feeling unwell the next day, he underwent a PCR test which subsequently showed a positive result for Covid-19.

Walsh said the group were all in a good mood as they secluded themselves in their apartments, and every effort was made to keep those who felt good active.

“Everyone is very positive,” added the US owner and club CEO. “The good thing is that our players are in amazing shape, they are young guys, and in terms of people who contract Covid, this is the group you want because they usually recover very quickly.

“It’s part of the new Covid world we live in, and I hope we caught it with just four of us getting it and moving on from here.

Circuit breakers

Breakers forward Finn Delany looks back on his pre-season game winner against SEM Phoenix

“We will be watching everyone closely to make sure that no other symptoms appear, but the feeling is positive, that it is a little bit of adversity, we are going to get out of this, and then how do we get back to our feet. activities ? Morale is good and we will continue to send funny videos of each other doing as much workouts as needed until we can get back to work.

Walsh said he doesn’t think their first game of the season is in doubt, although that may depend on Wednesday’s test results. The player (s) who tested positive would be required to remain in isolation for 10 days and clear all protocols, but if the virus had not spread, it was hoped that the rest of the group would be allowed to resume training soon.

“We all hope tomorrow’s test (day 3) will come back negative, minus those that were already positive, and then we can get back into the field.”

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