Credit: - Scanpix, BasketNews/D.Repečka
Credit - Scanpix, BasketNews/D.Repečka

COVID-19 has been hitting professional sport with a bang recently, with all major sports leagues having to postpone matches due to the virus. The Italian and Spanish governments have decided to noticeably reduce the spectator count in sports venues both indoor and outdoor.

With the rapid spread of the infection in Italy, the local government has decided to reduce the maximum capacity of basketball games to 35%, La Gazzetta dello Sport reports.

The number of new Covid cases almost reached 100 thousand in Italy today, which escalated this decision. This means that AX Armani Exchange Milan will have a maximum of 4,445 fans at the Mediolanum Forum. The arena has a capacity of 12,700 spectators.

The Spanish Interterritorial Council, meanwhile, has agreed in its meeting yesterday to reduce the capacity of professional sports venues to 75% in stadiums and 50% in indoor venues amidst the omicron boom, Cadena SER reports.

Until now, there was no limit to Spanish outdoor sports spectators, while it was 80% for indoor events. The measure will take effect on January 1 and will be in effect until 31, when it will be reviewed again.

Due to the restrictions, FC Barcelona, which already plays in a relatively small Palau Blaugrana arena, will only be able to host 3792 fans out of possible 7585.

Real Madrid, on the other end, play in a much larger WiZink Center that seats a maximum of 15,000 fans in basketball matches. This number will shrink to 7500 due to the recent governmental decision.

Olimpia Milan's last two Euroleague matches have been postponed due to the COVID-19 outbreak in the club. The team has also lost Shavon Shiels, Gigi Datome, and Sergio Rodriguez due to injuries.

Real Madrid has also been hit with the virus hard. The team had lost 7 players (Adam Hanga, Anthony Randolph, Guerschon Yabusele, Juan Nunez, Vincent Poirier, Fabien Causeur, Thomas Heurtel) due to COVID-19 before miraculously beating CSKA Moscow last week.

This week's Real Madrid game against Fenerbahce Beko Istanbul has been postponed as well. Barcelona's match against Bitci Baskonia Vitoria-Gasteiz, meanwhile, is set to be played, although the Spanish powerhouse will have to compete without Kyle Kuric and Pierre Oriola due to the virus, alongside injured Nick Calathes and Cory Higgins.

The match will be played in the half-full Buesa Arena in Vitoria-Gasteiz. Usually boasting an impressive 15,716 spectator limit, the indoor venue will now only be able to host 7858 fans for Baskonia games.

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Free throws this season

Points made: 11,5
Accuracy: 74,5%
Place in standings: 12
Record max: 18
Record min: 5
Most made FTs: Malcolm Delaney