Japan's B. League, Europe's VTB League cancel seasons
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Just days after the Korean Basketball League canceled its 2019-20 season, the Japanese B. League and Europe's VTB League have followed suit.

The B. League resumed its previously halted season behind closed doors on March 14, only to postpone the campaign for a second time just three days later.

League executives at an emergency board meeting Friday "unanimously" agreed to scrap the remainder of the regular season and playoffs due to safety concerns stemming from the coronavirus pandemic, B. League chairman Masaaki Okawa said in a video news conference, according to Kaz Nagatsuka of The Japan Times.

"We've prioritized the mental and physical health of our players, coaches, and club officials," Okawa said. "The spread of this coronavirus has been beyond our imagination and we've emphasized that we cannot afford to expose our players and others who are associated with our league to the danger."

The VTB League, meanwhile, is one of the largest basketball leagues in Europe. It features teams from multiple countries, including Russian powerhouse and Euroleague club CSKA Moscow.

The Russian government's decision earlier this week to ground all international flights left the VTB with little choice but to cancel, as many foreign players under contract were adamant about being allowed to return home to avoid being stuck indefinitely, a source told ESPN's Jonathan Givony.

"Today - when the borders are closed, the teams can not practice at basketball arenas, and the clubs have to let the foreign players go home - there's no purpose to (continuing) the championship," VTB League general director Ilona Korstin said in a statement. "Considering European and global outbreak of COVID-19, it's far more important to ensure (the) safety of the players, their families, clubs' staff and, of course, the fans."

Elsewhere, the Chinese Basketball Association has reportedly delayed its restart until May, while the NBA remains on an indefinite hiatus.

Japan's B. League, Europe's VTB League cancel seasons
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