By Johnny Askounis/ firstname.lastname@example.org
The latest batch of COVID-19 tests revealed two additional positive cases for Real Madrid, Sergio Llull and Jeffery Taylor, the team announced Monday. Euroleague Basketball suspended the upcoming game versus Fenerbahce Beko.
Per the press release: “The Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 18 game between Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul and Real Madrid, originally scheduled to be played on Wednesday, December 29, has been suspended. Madrid requested the suspension after several team members tested positive for COVID-19, which leaves it without the minimum eight players on the Authorization List fit to play.
Following the Special Regulations due to COVID-19, approved by the ECA Shareholders Executive Board, each game can be rescheduled up to three times, if there are available dates. Euroleague Basketball will coordinate with both teams the best options to reschedule the game. Alternative dates will be announced on official Euroleague Basketball platforms once confirmed.”
Adam Hanga, Thomas Heurtel, Fabien Causeur, Vincent Poirier, Guerschon Yabusele, Anthony Randolph, and Juan Nunez returned positive COVID-19 tests over the last couple of weeks. With Pablo Laso sidelined in a similar fashion, the head coaching responsibilities have been transferred to assistant Chus Mateo.
Despite facing the massive coronavirus hit, the Whites managed to defeat CSKA Moscow at home last Thursday in Turkish Airlines EuroLeague Regular Season Round 17.
Besides the COVID-19 outbreak, Trey Thompkins, Carlos Alocen, and Alberto Abalde remaining on the injury list were questionable to play. Earlier confirmed cases, floor general Heurtel and play-caller Laso had a chance to return, provided they cleared health and safety protocols. Rudy Fernandez, Nigel Williams-Goss, and Walter Tavares, plus younger senior team members Tristan Vukcevic, Sediq Garuba, Urban Klavzar, and Baba Miller are the only players considered fully healthy.
The Spanish giants currently sit second in the EuroLeague standings. The 14-3 W-L tally falls one game shy of the leader and archrival FC Barcelona but still outranks the remaining field in Europe’s premier club continental competition.
As for Fener, Jan Vesely and Nando De Colo picked up injuries during the Round 17 loss to LDLC ASVEL Villeurbanne, while Devin Booker and Danilo Barthel are out as well. The team coached by former Madrid player Sasha Djordjevic at 7-10 is currently a couple of games away from the top eight spots leading to the Playoffs.