Former NBA star, president of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), Yao Ming is confident of a spectacular conclusion to the season, which will restart on Saturday following a nearly five-month hiatus due to the coronavirus pandemic.
The CBA season will resume behind closed doors on Saturday in a championship-style format. Qingdao, in east China's Shandong Province, and the southern city of Dongguan in Guangdong Province have been selected as two host cities of the first stage of games.
"Since February 1st, our league has undergone an unprecedented break along with the entire society. However, many of us still stayed in our workplace and maintained training, and some had to go through long travels and quarantine due to anti-virus measures," said Yao in his open letter written at the dawn of the league's resumption.
Yao Ming attends a press conference to announce CBA's partnership in the new season in Beijing, China, October 29, 2019. /VCG
On behalf of the league, Yao expressed his gratitude to coaches, players, referees, and staff for their dedication. Among them, Yao especially thanked those who volunteered to accept a pay cut to help the league through financial difficulties.
"Everything that you have done is a full commitment to CBA's resumption and even the long-term and healthy development of Chinese basketball."
"What we've experienced this season will leave a landmark in the history of the league, and everyone's contribution will be remembered," the CBA president noted.
(Cover image: Yao Ming reacts during the third round Group A match between China and Venezuela of 2019 FIBA World Cup at the Cadillac Arena in Beijing, China, September 4, 2019. /VCG)