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IN BRIEF : Owner Shuts Down Fresno Flames

<i> From Times wire services </i>

The Fresno Flames--members of the World Basketball League for players under 6-feet-5--are suspending operations for 1989 because of financial problems.

Auto dealer Ed Becker, who bought the team last year, said he made the decision to suspend operations for this year because the team sold just 100 season tickets for the league’s second season that begins in May.

Becker said he lost nearly $1 million on the team last year. “I cannot take the kind of losses I did last year just to have a basketball team in Fresno,” Becker said. “It’s crazy for me to keep going.”

Becker said he began looking late last year for 25 partners who would bring in $25,000 each to keep the team in Fresno but had little luck in finding them. “We’ll keep trying to get investors and keep it (the team) here in Fresno,” Becker said. “But if we don’t find them, we’ll move the team to another city.”

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