LONDON – Mahigit sa 85 porsiyento ng NBA players ang magiging available para sa 2020 Tokyo Olympic qualification tournaments, ayon kay International Basketball Federation (FIBA) secretary general Andreas Zagklis.
Sa isang online roundtable interview, sinabi ni Zagklis na naniniwala rin siya na may sapat na motibasyon ang top NBA players para sumabak sa naantalang Tokyo Olympic Games sa susunod na taon.
“It’s clear from the feedback we have received from our players around the world, including NBA players that they consider the Olympic Games as a highlight of their careers. So the motivation is there,” ani Zagklis.
Dahil sa COVID-19 pandemic ay ipinagpaliban ang Olympic Games sa susunod na taon at naapektuhan ang global schedules ng lahat ng sports.
Kinumpirma ng FIBA na ang men’s Olympic qualifiers ay gaganapin sa June 29 hanggang July 4, 2021, huli ng isang linggo sa orihinal na plano.
Nagpasiya ang NBA na paikliin ang season kung saan binawasan ito ng 10 games sa regular season, at ang playoffs ay gaganapin sa pagitan ng May 22 at July 22 ng susunod na taon.
“I think there is a great understanding of what it means for the NBA and its players to play in the Olympics,” wika ni Zagklis.
“The Players Association and the owners took the decision to play a shortened season which would mean 26 out of 30 teams will have finished by [the Olympic qualifiers] and all the teams will have finished in time for the Olympic Games.”
“I believe that this means we will have, in the Olympic qualifiers, more than 85 percent of NBA players available,” dagdag pa niya.