The ABA Crowns 2 Midwest Teams National Co-Champions



from left: Indiana Lyons owner Tyrone Brown, ABA President Greg Brown, Burning River Buckets owner, George Phillips)

The American Basketball Association (ABA) just completed its Final Eight Tournament in St. Louis, MO and for the first time in its 23-year history, the league has Co-Champions. The Indiana Lyons of Danville, IN and the Burning River Buckets of Mentor, OH were scheduled to compete for the 2023 ABA Championship when the tournament was put on hold due to a tornado warning. Everyone in the facility was escorted into the basement to wait out the hour+ warning. Game play was scheduled to resume when fans noticed leaks on the court from the roof.

"This was one of the most exciting ABA Final Eights ever," stated ABA CEO Joe Newman.  "Eight very strong and evenly matched teams competed in the quarter finals and semi-finals with every game going down to the wire. All six games could have gone the other way - with the top two teams, the Wyoming Valley Clutch and Team Trouble being upset at the end by the Indiana Lyons and Burning River Buckets.  Everybody expected a hard-fought battle for the title on Saturday night. And then, the storms came, the roof leaked, the floor became unplayable - and thus the final game was cancelled - with the two teams agreeing to be Co-Champions."

The tournament was played at Jefferson College, a beautiful facility in Hillsboro, Missouri, and hosted by Damon Cannon, owner of the St. Louis Spirits and Midwest Division Chairman.

"It was really a shame this happened," added Cannon.  "Those who watched the games in person and on PPV saw the ABA at its best and why the ABA has grown to be the largest professional sports league in the US with over 170 teams.  The combination of highly-skilled players, the unique ABA rules which make the games faster and more exciting and the intensity of play is truly amazing - and it is fitting that 2 teams can experience the pride and joy of being crowned 2022-2023 ABA CHAMPIONS."

Video of the entire tournament and the ABA All Star Game will be re-broadcast shortly on ABAGALE TV, the official streaming network of the ABA, available on Roku.  

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