UPDATE: Express Champs After AltercationApril 30, 2015 6:46pm
The Windsor Express are officially the 2015 NBL Champions after the Halifax Rainmen forfeited the game.
The team was celebrating on court with trophy in-hand shortly after 9pm on Thursday. The Game 7 final between the Express and Rainmen at the WFCU Centre was cancelled an hour prior to the game due to a “physical altercation” between the two teams.
Express associate head coach Lexa Page says his team was always ready to play. “If we’re going to lose, we’re going to lose like men. We’re not going to lose and run away,” he says.
Page says he wishes the team could have played for the win. “We were happy we won, but we didn’t want to win it this way,” says Page. “We wanted to bring it out here on the court and beat you up like we did last game.”
The Halifax Rainmen released a statement on Thursday night saying the game was cancelled, citing “safety concerns for its players and coaches.”
“Today is truly a black eye for our league. When the game is not safe for players to compete, there is a problem,” says Rainmen Owner Andre Levingston in the statement. “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.”
Levingston says he expects the incident will come to much criticism. He says he hopes it will serve as a wake up call for the owners who “must do a better job.”
–with files from Kirk Dickinson