The National Basketball League returned to the court in a “bubble” with too many punctures to repair

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Although there is a strict protocol, the testimonies speak of certain failures when it comes to preventing Covid infections and some cases of individual irresponsibility.

The National Basketball League returned after almost eight months of standstill and is developing with a “bubble” format, with the pretense of emulating what has been done in recent months by the NBA in Disney, Orlando or, closer in possibilities, by the ACB League of Spain. However, the first hours of the teams in Buenos Aires were involved in errors that must soon be corrected to avoid the failure of the system.

From non-health care issues, such as poor Internet connection quality, to more important and truly dangerous failures in the primary objective of prevent Covid-19 infections, such as the lack of individual cutlery or control to prevent different delegations from occupying common spaces, the problems are varied and have to do with both organizational deficiencies and individual commitment.

The hotels that host the delegations are the Howard Johnson Plaza Buenos Aires, located in Lima 653, and the Ramada de Vicente López, on San Martín, almost Del Libertador. In each one there are ten delegations and both complexes are completely closed to them, and tourists or people outside the competition cannot stay.

The tournament, which offers five games a day between 11 a.m. and 9:30 p.m., all televised by the TyC Sports Play platform and La Liga Contenidos, in addition to two broadcast a week by TyC Sports, has a protocol developed by the Crisis Committee of the Association of Clubs (AdC) and the Argentine Basketball Confederation (CABB), which clearly established the guidelines to follow.

One of them was the provision of part of the hotel facilities of “preventive material, hygienic mats, dispensers of hydroalcoholic solutions and gels”. According to a source consulted by Clarion, “sanitation is almost non-existent.” Another contributes that “much of what the approved protocol says is not being done.”

In terms of food, the members of the campuses complain that the food is little, of quite bad taste and that they have to settle for a single dish. It is not this aspect, in any case -subjective, in short-, the most dangerous: in dining rooms, which theoretically should be occupied by one team at a time, coexistence of more than one delegation has been seen, reaching up to members of four different teams.

In this sense, the organization assured during the week that the schedules would be adjusted immediately so that this does not happen again, but according to the protagonists it continues to happen.

But even that is not the worst. Despite the documents produced by the CABB and AdC Crisis Committee calling for “individually packaged cutlery”, many players found themselves having to remove their cutlery from a common container touched by all attendees or instead of getting individual salads, having to help yourself to bowls different.

In stadiums, everything is clearly marked to respect a sense of movement, reduce the “crossing” with people and not overlap. But -in almost everything there will be a but- when a bus arrives with one campus and must be taken to the other, there is no sanitization of the vehicle before those who leave.

The entrances and exits are another topic of discussion in which it becomes complex to enforce the rules because there are not enough personnel to control – after a meeting between the competent authorities on Wednesday morning, the number of employees of security- and, on the other, there is a preponderant role of individual responsibility.

And some players – in particular, foreigners – they have done what they wantedFrom shopping for clothes to going out to McDonald’s.

Although both players and members of the staffs Technicians had to comply with the swabs and give a negative result to certify that they were not infected, there are situations that require signs, symbolic messages, even if they do not have the disease.

It is not what would be happening when the Players Association has had to reinforce between players and coaches the request that no rounds of mate are shared, as they have learned that it happened. Because, in addition, it is not that you get swabs or PCR tests every day. In this sense, the AdC promised in a two-hour meeting last Wednesday to carry out a more exhaustive follow-up with the analyzes.

A particular situation happens in the parties, because isolated people coexist in the bubbles -players, coaches and referees- with workers who are not, such as journalists and assistants (control table, cleaning staff). The latter, for example, have not been studied to rule out the presence of Covid in their bodies.

The idea to reduce the risk in these cases is that they do not share certain spaces on the fields, but in Ferro a situation was seen that breaks with the protocol: if the referees – who logically do not wear a chinstrap – have to see the videoref, they must pass the inside side of the blindex in which the auxiliary not swabbed are.

Among the non-sanitary difficulties that do threaten preparation, the players point out the absence of the Internet, which prevents them from seeing the other games that are being played in the bubble, study rivals, prepare thoroughly. What’s more: there are several young people who study in virtual modalities and are already wondering how they are going to continue studying.


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