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Celebrating Success

April 19, 2011 - Premier Basketball League (PBL) - Rochester RazorSharks News Release

It's party time. Fans of the Rochester RazorSharks are invited to attend a reception in the re-crowned Premier Basketball champions' honor Wednesday. The family oriented pizza party will be held in the atrium area of the Rochester Community War Memorial from 6-7:00pm. Bring the kids. Bring a camera. The festivities move to Matthews Bar and Grill on East Avenue thereafter.

Rochester won back the PBL championship in a riveting 87-84 win at Lawton-Fort Sill Monday night. That victory capped a season-long comeback for the RazorSharks that began after a 2-6 start. The team went 14-4 thereafter, the last of those wins coming in a winner-take-all match in Oklahoma, where Rochester had never won.

"You're feeling happy and you feel relieved," said forward Mike Williams, "because going through the game it can go either way. For both teams its a must win. So you feel happy but you also feel relieved."

"If you saw this team play in January you'd say, 'no way was this a championship caliber basketball team,' said veteran guard Keith Friel. "Obviously a lot changed. We had some personnel changes and the mindset is a lot different. We were a fraction of what we are now in January."

For Friel and Coach Rod Baker, this was their fourth championship season in six years together. Each has its own identity.

"It's a lot different," said Baker. "We kind of figured out at some point what was wrong. Lost of times you don't figure it out what is wrong, but we had an opportunity to figure out what was wrong and committed to getting better. It took time and a hell of a lot of commitment from these guys to come to work every day."

Fans of the Sharks greeted the team upon its arrival in Rochester from Oklahoma Tuesday evening.

"It was great, really good," said Kevin Canton of Greece, who comes to the games with his wife and two sons. "They started out 2-6, awesome job. Awesome job by the guys and the coach to keep them together. It paid off. Going down there and winning, where they haven't won there all year and winning a championship. Awesome."

"We just thought it was going to be a mediocre season," said Julie Dezimm of Webster. "Didn't matter. We're there every single game. We support them no matter what. Then things started to turn around and we thought, possibility. And by God they did it."

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