By Stefan Djordjevic / email@example.com
In recent years, as the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague grew, expanded and changed formats, the teams that participate in the competition had to deal with the changes to their usual schedule.
Two games per week used to be the norm but with the introduction of double-round weeks in EuroLeague, the teams’ schedules got somewhat crowded during those occasions.
Usually, the clubs can mitigate it by rescheduling the domestic league games by a day or two later, or even for a different week down the line.
However, with the coronavirus pandemic bringing up new challenges and issues, that became much harder to do. A lot of games are getting suspended due to COVID positives and one must assume that there will be more of them.
Hence, the competitions don’t have the luxury of changing up the schedule too much to accommodate a select few teams. Especially as the competitions around the globe try to complete the season as soon as possible, in order not to create issues with the participation in the Olympics.
One of the examples of a particularly packed schedule will be Alba Berlin’s week which started tonight (December 13) with a home game against Brose Bamberg.
Coach Aito Garcia’s squad won the match but, already on December 15 and 17, they have to go on the road for two EuroLeague clashes – in Belgrade against Crvena Zvezda mts, and in Athens against Panathinaikos OPAP.
Then, the team will return home but only to face another opponent in the German League, and not an easy one – ratiopharm Ulm on December 19.
The coach pointed it out himself via Twitter: “Today with Bamberg, Tuesday in Belgrade, Thursday in Athens and Saturday with Ulm. Look at the schedules,” he wrote.
Today with Bamberg, Tuesday in Belgrade, Thursday in Athens and Saturday with Ulm. Look at the schedules pic.twitter.com/vhbVXwcb4P
— Aíto G. Reneses (@AlejandroGar114) December 13, 2020
The sheer number of matches won’t be the only problem but the lack of direct flights to both Belgrade and Athens. The team will have to fly Berlin-Vienna-Belgrade and Belgrade-Frankfurt-Athens in order to play the games.
After the tough seven days, Alba will play against Real Madrid on the road on December 22 and against Syntainics MBC on December 26.