GoBookMe.com.au – NBL: Illawarra Hawks to face Adelaide 36ers in first week of regular season, Covid-19 concerns, basketball news

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The Illawarra Hawks had their pre-season campaign decimated by Covid-19 scares, and now there’s been a fresh twist in the saga.

The NBL has confirmed the Illawarra Hawks’ pre-season Covid-19 scare was a false alarm, paving the way for Brian Goorjian’s side to meet the Adelaide 36ers on Sunday as planned.

The Hawks had their NBL Blitz pre-season campaign decimated by Covid-19 concerns.

Their game with the New Zealand Breakers was postponed when a Breakers player tested positive, and it wasn’t the last Hawks fixture to be scrapped — the Hawks were unable to host the Sydney Kings over the weekend after a member of the Illawarra coaching staff returned a positive Covid-19 test.

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The Hawks had been facing the possibility of spending the week in isolation, throwing their first game of the regular season into doubt, until NSW Health rubber-stamped their return to training on Sunday. The Illawarra staff member’s Covid-19 test had been a false positive.

“The Hungry Jack’s NBL can confirm the Illawarra Hawks will resume training after Saturday’s Covid case was determined to be a false positive,” an NBL spokesperson wrote in a statement on Sunday.

“The Hawks, who are all double vaccinated, received the clearance from NSW Health today.

“The Hawks’ Round 1 game against Adelaide will go ahead as planned.”

The cancellation of the Kings game leaves the Hawks at a disadvantage heading into the NBL regular season — Illawarra was the only side to finish the pre-season tournament having played only two games. All others, bar the Breakers and Kings, played four.

The Hawks won both their NBL Blitz hit-outs, though, first holding off the South East Melbourne Phoenix and then toppling reigning NBL champions Melbourne United.

Under the tutelage of new coach CJ Bruton, the 36ers went through the Blitz undefeated and claimed the Loggins-Bruton Cup.

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