Even one of the continent’s top basketball leagues has been ravaged by the ongoing coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
Once hopeful that its 10th season could resume later this year, the ASEAN Basketball League is looking at cancelling the remainder of its season.
Moreover, a shutdown of the league is imminent as of the moment.
According to multiple sources closely monitoring the situation, the brass of the regional league, which expanded to China two seasons ago, did not renew the contracts of its staff — including chief operating officer Jericho Ilagan.
Though the officials of the Singapore-based league vowed to honor the contracts of its staff until May 30, it went back on its word, only paying the salaries of its staff until March 30.
Sources added that it was Ilagan who shouldered the severance packages for the staff, which consists mostly of Filipinos.
The league’s official website has displayed a static image of the ABL logo since May of 2020, while its usually active social media pages have yet to post content since April 15.
The majority owner of the ABL is AirAsia — a Malaysian low-cost airline.
For the first quarter of 2020, AirAsia reported that it lost US$ 187.91 million. A year ago, it made a net profit of US$ 22.53 million.
ABL teams Formosa and Fubon have decided to join a Taiwanese league, while Thailand team Mono Vampire has since decided to focus on the TBL as well.