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SkyHawks owner fires back at League over team's expulsion

The owner of the Ottawa SkyHawks says recent actions by the National Basketball League of Canada are "unjustifiable."

President of Bytown Sports and Entertainment, Gus Takkale, said in a statement Tuesday that "the owners of the Ottawa SkyHawks strongly believe that the NBL’s unreasonable actions and misleading media statements reflect the NBL’s business misconduct."

The NBL's board of directors voted unanimously Thursday to eject the SkyHawks from the League. In a statement issued Monday, the NBL said it was due to financial reasons. The League said loan deadlines had been missed, a venue lease had not been submitted, and no proof of funding for the upcoming season was provided.

Takkale says he is confident "SkyHawks fans and the Ottawa community will shortly have a clear perspective of the facts once the particulars of this matter unfolds, in the near future."

The Skyhawks played only one season, 2013-14. Takkale says "It is very unfortunate for our nation’s capital basketball fans, season ticket holders, sponsors, partners, and most importantly the thousands of children in our community, would not be able to cheer for their very own pro basketball team in the upcoming season, due to the NBL’s unjustifiable actions."

The League has said it is committed to having a team in Ottawa, and "when a new group emerges with interest in the Ottawa market, they will have to submit an application to join the League in the same manner as every other expansion team in the past."

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