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Jun 23, 1999

Protest Board rules in favor of Raiders

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History will probably remember it as only a minor footnote to the most exciting finish in semi-pro basketball history. Today the three members of the B.B.A. appeals board made it official by denying the protest of the B.T.L. Nets that the outcome of Friday night’s 75-74 Raider’s victory should be nullified. The ruling was contained in a press release which followed almost four hours of deliberation by board members Sonny Meighan, Eric Eusey and Marion Usher. It reads in part, “The Protest Board concludes that the referees erred, putting the B.T.L. team at a disadvantage. However, the FIBA Rules, under which the tournament was played, only allowed for correction of this error at a specified time during the game and not after its completion. The B.B.A. Protest Board therefore rules that the outcome of the game stands and the Phoenix Footlocker Raiders are the 1999 B.B.A. Champion.” The heart of the protest involved two free throws and possession of the ball with six seconds left to play that should have been awarded to the Nets but were omitted by officials. When asked to comment on the ruling Nets coach Kevin Castillo told News Five, “I will honor and respect the decision and I will congratulate the champions. My only question is that when the referee is confronted with his error and refuses to correct it what am I supposed to do?” Castillo explained that he did all he could to protest the omission during the game but if he had gone further it could have cost his team a technical foul. As for the Raiders, who already did most of their celebrating over the weekend, the official decision was just icing on a particularly sweet championship cake.

Glenn Tillett, General Manager, Raiders

“We are naturally happy that the Protest Board found the protest without merit which was our position from the start. We always considered ourselves the 1999 B.B.A. Champions and the decision was what we expected.”

Q: “What is the Phoenix Footlocker Raiders’ outlook for next year?”

Glenn Tillett

“We expect to win the championship again. We expect that there will be worthy opponents like the B.T.L. Nets. We expect some expansions in the league. And we expect the level of play excitement hyped and all that to increase.”

The B.B.A. will hold a press conference Thursday morning at the Radisson to officially honor the champs and proclaim the Raiders’ Keith Acosta as the season’s and the playoff’s Most Valuable Player.

Viewers please note: This Internet newscast is a verbatim transcript of our evening television newscast. Where speakers use Kriol, we attempt to faithfully reproduce the quotes using a standard spelling system.

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