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Friday, Sept. 25, 2009

BJ-LEAGUE

Five Arrows won't skip season


Staff writer

It's official: The Takamatsu Five Arrows will play in the 2009-10 season, putting to rest the question of whether the team would suspend operations for the upcoming bj-league campaign and try to re-enter the league next season.

The season tips off on Oct. 3.

During a summer of uncertainty, Five Arrows officials and bj-league personnel said the Shikoku-based franchise needed to secure an additional ¥80 million in sponsorships in order to be able to field a team this season.

(Anabuki Construction Inc. has pulled out as the team's top sponsor.)

Akihiro Ejima, a bj-league spokesman, was unavailable for comment on Thursday. But the Five Arrows have a news conference scheduled for Friday afternoon, and more details about the team's financial status are expected to be released.

Originally, the team had listed mid-September as its deadline, with some sources calling Sept. 18 the ultimate deadline, but last week passed by without a final decision by the team.

The Five Arrows, coming off their third straight postseason appearance, have a new coach, veteran floor boss John Neumann, this fall. As of Thursday, however, the team's roster only listed six players.



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