SPORTS

Windsor Express win NBL Canada title after Halifax Rainmen forfeit

04/30/2015 07:58 EDT | Updated 08/09/2015 06:59 EDT
WINDSOR, Ont. - The Windsor Express are back-to-back National Basketball League Canada champions after the Halifax Rainmen forfeited Game 7 of the league's final on Thursday.

The Rainmen refused to attend the decisive game after an altercation between players from the two teams during morning shootarounds. Halifax's front office felt it was unsafe for the team to compete and did not show up for the game.

NBL Canada's board of governors held a meeting on Thursday night, ruling that as per league rules, the Rainmen had forfeited by not appearing for the game.

"At the end of the day, a championship is a championship," said Express head coach and director of basketball operations Bill Jones in a statement. "It's unfortunate we couldn't do it on the court, but we gave them a chance to play us for that championship and they didn't do that."

The Rainmen had issued a news release hours before game time saying the game had been cancelled because of their concerns about the safety of their players.

"Today is truly a black eye for our league, when the games is not safe for players to compete there is a problem," said Halifax team owner Andre Levingston in a statement. "We have to do a better job of governing our league and putting principles in place where there are strict consequences.

"I've played basketball all my life and have the utmost respect for the game, but what I witnessed today leaves me saddened, not just for me but for our fans, our partners and community who fought so hard to get us to this point."

The names of the players involved in the incident have not been disclosed.

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