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Perth Wildcats pre-season game against Hawks to go ahead despite NSW COVID-19 cluster

UPDATE: Perth’s NBL pre-season game against the Hawks tonight will go ahead with a new start time, with the Wildcats salvaging the fixture just as it was set to be called off.

WATCH THE GAME LIVE FROM 7PM HERE

Anyone who has arrived in WA from NSW since December 11 must immediately go into self-isolation and remain there until a negative COVID-19 test result is returned, owing to an outbreak on Sydney’s northern beaches that had grown to 17 by mid afternoon.

It threw into doubt the Illawarra-based Hawks, who arrived in Perth three days ago, taking to the court for tonight’s scheduled pre-season clash.

Around 90 minutes before the scheduled 6.30pm tip-off, it was understood the game would not go ahead.

Staff had been preparing to leave the arena, but were soon spotted putting on masks and gloves in the foyer.

At 5.15pm, the Wildcats confirmed they had salvaged the fixture, with a later tip-off time of 7pm.

The teams got an exemption from the Government as a result of the protocols the NBL had already established prior to their season.

In a statement, the NBL said it had received approval from WA’s Chief Health Officer Andrew Robertson for the clash to go ahead.

“Players and staff from both clubs have been under strict COVID protocols for the last 10 days. On that basis the Chief Health Officer has advised the NBL that an exemption has been granted allowing the teams to play tonight,” it read.

“Hawks players and staff will undergo COVID-19 tests before tonight’s game. After the game they will return to their hotel and they have been given permission by the Chief Health Officer to return to Sydney tomorrow.

“Wildcats players and staff will also undergo testing tomorrow and will remain in self quarantine until their results have been returned, as requested by the Chief Health Officer.”

Wildcats players had taken to the court around 4.30pm to warm up in preparation for the game potentially going ahead, with the Hawks having trained at the same venue earlier in the day.

The two teams played one another at RAC Arena on Tuesday.

More to come

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