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Ontario Professional Basketball Association BYE


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Looks like your so called great run league as already gone under. Just like the Canadian Baseball League. Man was it ever run well..piff The CPSL has almost been around a decade and it still running strong with the new franchise the Border Stars averaging 2000-1000 fan per game.

Local pro league goes under


Scott Radley

The Hamilton Spectator

It appears another startup professional basketball league in southern Ontario has bitten the dust.

Just a month into its first season, the Ontario Professional Basketball Association has gone on indefinite hiatus while its owners attempt to resolve financial problems. Some players hadn't been fully paid and a number of gyms locked their doors on the league due to overdue bills. There were also reports that at least one of the circuit's seven teams had folded.

"It's on hold right now," says Brantford ConneXion general manager John Esposito.

While nothing's been finalized -- the decision to cancel all games on the weekend wasn't announced until early Friday evening -- he says talks are underway for a tournament early in July to determine a champion. After that, things are up in the air. Most likely, the league would be shut down for the season with hopes of restarting fresh next spring.

This shouldn't be a huge shock, if history is any guide. Pro hoops have failed in Canada more than a few times. The National Basketball League -- remember the Skyhawks? -- and the World Basketball League both failed. An operation calling itself the International Basketball League checked out Canadian sites years ago but never opened. And the NBA's Vancouver Grizzlies moved south when interest and attendance waned.

The OPBA began the season with teams in Brantford, Guelph, Niagara, London, Barrie, Waterloo and Windsor, and dreams of expanding into Hamilton and Toronto. While its brand of basketball was exciting, the league was never able to attract any large corporate sponsors to help cover costs. Without them, and with as few as 150 fans showing up for some games, there was no way to pay the bills.

Esposito says everyone in the league knew some teams were in trouble. Yet he was shocked when he received the call cancelling the games. Especially since his was one of the few franchises actually doing pretty well as a draw.

The league's owners couldn't be reached for comment on the weekend. A posting on their website said only that more details would be available soon.

While he believes in the philosophy of the league and had been optimistic it would work, Esposito's not so sure anymore.

"I'm a little skeptical right now," he says. "The league can't go on without major sponsors."



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