The COVID-ravaged UC Capitals have withdrawn from Game 2 of their semi-final series against the Perth Lynx. The news means that their 2021/22 campaign is unfortunately finished.
After being initially scheduled for 27 March, the game was then rescheduled to Wednesday, 6 April in Perth. However, a COVID outbreak meant the Capitals were unable to field seven players, the minimum requirement for taking to the court. The Capitals now have eight COVID-positive players and an entire squad in isolation.
The club took on advice from medical staff and determined that it was not prepared to risk the health and welfare of the team soon after the affected players would leave their isolation. They also raised concerns about the time required to bring their players back to match fitness.
A statement from the Capitals spoke to the “incredibly disappointed” players and staff and pointed to the relocation of the game to Perth as a primary reason for their withdrawal.
“The club simply could not consider playing as the decision to move the game to Perth made our participation unreasonable,” read the statement.
“The UC Capitals athletes, who’ve already endured incredible adversity throughout the season, are devastated by the outcome. The team were desperate for the chance to compete and with UC Capitals management, every possible solution was explored.
“The club does not support the relocation of Game 2 to Perth which would have added additional physical and mental stress to the team’s load at a vulnerable time.”
The Capitals acknowledged the heartbreak for all involved but stressed that it was not a decision taken lightly.
The Perth Lynx will now head into the Grand Final series against the minor premiers, the Melbourne Boomers. The Lynx expressed their best wishes for a speedy recovery to the UC Capitals players, describing the decision as “heartbreaking”.