The Orix Buffaloes held an intrasquad scrimmage on Monday, with Nippon Professional Baseball targeting a late-June start for its coronavirus pandemic-delayed 2020 season.

NPB had aimed to open its season on April 24 after previously pushing it back from its original March 20 Opening Day.

Earlier this month, however, NPB commissioner Atsushi Saito suggested the season may start in the second half of June.

Played in an empty Kyocera Dome, Monday's game is the first the Buffaloes have played since the state of emergency was lifted in Osaka, along with two other western prefectures, last Thursday.

The Buffaloes allowed reporters into the stadium on Monday, though they were still restricted from the playing field and dugout, and required to wear face masks and to undergo temperature checks at the entrance.

The SoftBank Hawks also played a scrimmage Monday at PayPay Dome in Fukuoka, southwestern Japan. Fukuoka was among the 39 prefectures over which the state of emergency was lifted on May 14.

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