(Orlando, FL) – While the Miami Midnites continued their undefeated run in their semifinal match-up, the final result of the August 8 Palm Beach Knights/Heartland Prowl took an unexpected twist.
The Midnites closed the casket on a disappointing Florida Flight 2015 season defeating them 142-108. They now take a 13-0 record into the championship game. Their opponent remained in doubt well into the night.
On the court, the Prowl defeated the Knights 129-120 in front of their hometown crowd in Lake Wales, Florida. While the celebration began for the Prowl, the Knights made a call to the league office to protest the results.
“It was brought to our attention that the Prowl allowed ineligible players to participate in the playoff game,” commented Commissioner Greg Kite.
Per the FBA Operations Manual, only players that have participated in a minimum of two regular season games are eligible to compete in the playoffs, a rule established to prevent teams from stacking up talent solely to win a championship. The penalty of non-compliance with the mandated player eligibility rule is a forfeit. After careful deliberation, commissioner Kite could come to only one conclusion: the result affords the Palm Beach Knights the opportunity to compete in their first-ever FBA Championship game.
A disappointed Cornell Young, Owner and Head Coach of the Prowl, declared the violation an innocent attempt to avoid violating another FBA mandated rule. “Playing solely in the summertime brings us a lot of challenges from a player personnel standpoint,” he said. “Every summer our players wrestle with opportunities to play in cash tournaments, Exposure Combines, and other Pro-am leagues that often bring current and retired NBA players. With the Tampa Pro-am going on, I was concerned I would not have eight players to field in the game, so I did what I thought was the right thing to avoid violating the eight-player minimum rule.”
The FBA Operations Manual sets a high level standard to ensure that each game provides a professional image and feel for their paying fans. One of those standards is a rule that requires each team to field a minimum of eight players and no more than 12 for every official game.
Leroy Spruill, Co-Owner of the Palm Beach Knights, was relieved to receive the final verdict and decision to award the Knights the opportunity to play for the Championship. “Of course you’d prefer to win without the drama, but rules are rules,” Spruill said. “We have always made it our primary focus to abide by the rules and regulations set forth by the FBA. Based on those rules, our players deserve to play for this FBA Championship this year.”
This will be the first-ever Championship game for the Knights, who have their work cut out for them, as they square off against the undefeated Midnites, a team that is 23-1 thus far in their two-year history in the FBA. The Knights-Midnites historical record is 0-7.
This season’s FBA Championship game will take place on Sunday, August 16th at the Dr. Michael M. Krop High School, located at Ives State Park, 20901 NE 16th Ave, Miami, FL. Game time is slated for 5:00pm.
The FBA is a Florida-based professional basketball league providing a development, branding and exposure platform for athletes, referees and other individuals seeking to further their professional basketball career.