COVID-19 hits sports world
By Jesus A. Garcia Jr.
THE world has been under quarantined for four months, and the dreaded COVID-19 contagion in the United States, Brazil and United Kingdom remains unabated with hundreds of thousands already killed by the virus. So far, the Philippines has 1,186 registered fatalities as of this writing on June 25.
COVID-19 infects anyone regardless of age and sex. Even super athletes of the world who normally are not prone to any kind of illness due to their athletic lifestyle are not safe from the deadly virus. Among those who earlier contracted the virus were five NBA players headed by well-known Kevin Durant of Brooklyn Nets, Rudy Gobert and Mitchell Donovan of Utah Jazz, Marcus Smart of Boston Celtics and Detroit Pistons’ Christian Wood and three other unnamed members of the Philadelphia 76ers.
NBA’s decision to temporarily suspend the league triggered a domino effect in professional sports. America’s other popular sports like the National Football League (NFL), Major League Baseball (MLB) and National Hockey League (NHL) followed suit. Even Europe’s top-rated sports like the world’s oldest, richest, longest and toughest bicycle road saga Tour de France, Giro d’ Italia, Vuelta a España which both runs in 21 days postponed their races. So did the European Basketball League.
famous basketball league PBA and MPBL followed suit. On the local side, Governor Amado ‘Pogi” Espino III also postponed the fourth edition of the Governor’s Cup Inter-Town/City Basketball Tournament.
Then, the much-awaited fight of Filipino world champion Jerwin Ancajas against Jonathan Rodriguez of Puerto Rico which was set last April 11 for the International Boxing Federation (IBF) junior bantamweight world belt was also cancelled.
There’s no telling when the sports activities will resume as planet Earth is still trying to defeat the virus.
Also infected were Professional Golf Association veteran golfer Victor Lange and Japan Olympic Committee deputy chief Kozo Tashima, Europe’s famous footballer Danielle Ruganis of Juventus team and Trey Hopkins of Real Madrid were not spared the consequences. Like the NBA players, they’re on their way to recovery.
After former world tennis superstar John Patrick McEnroe contracted the deadly virus, the latest victim was Novak Djokovic of Serbia, the world’s current number one tennis super star ‘grand slam’ winner. Clearly, COVID-19 spares no one, not even professional athletes who many thought are not easily vulnerable because of their strong immune system.
Uppermost in sports fans minds is the question: How long will the sports world be affected by the pandemic?
Only God knows. Let’s just pray. “With God nothing is impossible,” as the Good Book says. Amen.
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My heartfelt sympathy to the families of former national player and PBA’s Purefoods guard Junel Mendiola and business tycoon Eduardo “Danding” Cojuangco who passed away last June 16 and 18, respectively, due to cancer. The six-foot-one Mendiola, 45, who briefly played with the Pangasinan Presidents/Waves in the Metropolitan Basketball Association, He was also instrumental in making PHL win the basketball gold in 2001 Southeast Asia Games held in Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia.
May they both rest in peace.
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QUOTE OF THE WEEK: ‘When I send against them the terrible arrows of famine which shall be for destruction, which I will send to destroy you, I will increase the famine upon you and cut off your supply of bread. EZEKIEL 5: 16
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