Estonian top basketball club BC Kalev/Cramo played their first match after a two-week self-isolation period after guard Tanel Kurbas tested positive for the novel coronavirus. Cramo defeated Tallinna Kalev/TLÜ 98:88 in the Estonian-Latvian Basketball League.
In front of 280 spectators, the home team Kalev defeated domestic rival Tallinna Kalev/TLÜ 98:88 (25:19, 22:15, 24:20, 27:34). Marcus Keene was the high-point man with 26, Kregor Hermet added 20 points and nine rebounds. Brandis Raley-Ross shined for the visitors, collecting 24 points, five boards and nine assists.
Kalev/Cramo's coronavirus saga began on October 6 after an away match against Russian team BC Khimki, who had many players before and after the match come down with the virus.
Kalev then found out on October 10 that guard Tanel Kurbas had tested positive for COVID-19. The team decided to forfeit a VTB United League match against Lokomotiv-Kuban, resulting in a 0:20 technical loss for the Estonian club. A domestic cup match was also cancelled in fear of the coronavirus.
Team manager Ramo Kask told ERR: "Although VTB rules state that negatively tested players can play, our communication with the Health Board (Terviseamet) showed us that it is not reasonable to travel to Russia and to remain isolated at home."
He continued: "Players were able to train individually, go run in forests. After two negative tests we were able to go the arena as well, one or two at a time under different baskets."
Kask said players are hungry to compete ahead of multiple games in the VTB United League and the Estonian-Latvian Basketball League: "Those who have experienced the nosepoking know it is not a pleasurable experience. Especially doing it three times a week. We have done it every four days."
He added that some foreign players have asked why so many tests must be done if results are negative. "Since the hunger to play is so great, the guys are using every option of getting in the gym and shoot. We just need to get the games going again and then return to some kind of routine," Kask concluded.
Editor: Kristjan Kallaste