By Aris Barkas / email@example.com
Czech Republic center Ondrej Balvin criticized the fact that while he and other national team members are spending almost a week already in the “bubbles”, EuroLeague players and coaches will enter the same “bubbles” that FIBA has created for November’s EuroBasket Qualifiers Window one day before the games.
As Balvin said to Eurohoops after twitting his disagreement: “The problem is that we all have to be in bubbles for a week. Then, in the last moment, Poland adds [Mateusz] Ponitka who played a EuroLeague game and Serbia adds [Igor] Kokoskov. My problem is: For what do we do the bubbles for, when those guys can enter at the last second and don’t have to respect the COVID-19 protocols. Maybe they are negative now, but in two days they can be positive. That’s why we had to be here in the bubble for a week to avoid any problems”.
According to FIBA sources the answer is simple: “The players who compete in EuroLeague games are regularly tested for COVID-19. They follow a particular protocol. Being eligible to play a game in EuroLeague, it means that you are healthy. Furthermore, everyone who enters the bubble is immediately tested.”
Still Balvin believes that those who are already in the “bubbles” get the short end of the stick: “Basically, any rules that FIBA implements to protect players are for nothing, if the national teams can add players from outside the bubble. But here, in the bubble, if you step one foot outside, you are automatically kicked from it.”
It’s obvious that strict health protocols have to be applied and the crammed European competition calendar doesn’t help the current situation.