Might Sports saw its plans of defending its William Jones Cup crown spoiled, no thanks to the coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic.
The annual invitational tilt has been cancelled due to the global health crisis, the Chinese Taipei Basketball Association announced on Thursday.
“Actually, it was something we wanted to defend had we been invited,” Mighty Sports head coach Charles Tiu told Tiebreaker Times.
“This time around, we would have had a lot of local flavors have they invited us. Maraming available ngayon, so it would have been easy for us to get locals.”
According to Tiu, members of the previous Mighty Sports champion teams would have seen action in the meet had it pushed through.
For the locals, those were Jason Brickman, Jeremiah Grey, Mikey Williams, and Gomez De Liaño brothers Juan and Javi.
Imports such as Renaldo Balkman, the reigning Jones Cup Most Valuable Player, and McKenzie Moore were set to come back as well.
Even Al Thornton — a former NBA cager who suited up in the PBA and was part of the Mighty team that ruled the 2016 Jones Cup — wanted to return.
“Al Thornton reached out wanting to make his comeback,” said Tiu, who has been Mighty Sports’ chief tactician since the 2016 Merlion Cup in Singapore.
This year’s Jones Cup was originally scheduled from July 4th to 19th. It was later postponed to August due to the pandemic, before being cancelled altogether.
This is now the third time that the event has been suspended. The first was in 1989 when a fire destroyed Chunghwa Sports Stadium, then in 2003 due to the SARS outbreak.
As for Mighty Sports, it missed out not just on winning back-to-back Jones Cup crowns, but also the chance to add another gold in its collection this year.
In February, the proud ball club ruled the Dubai International Basketball Championship, becoming the first team outside the Middle East to conquer the tourney.
“Would have been fun. Quite unfortunate it’s not pushing through,” said Tiu, though he understands that health and safety are of utmost importance.