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Jacksonville Giants calm the Windy City and win back-to-back ABA Championship - Apr 2, 2017


POSTED BY:
GIANNI PASCUCCI
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Maurice
Mickens
(courtesy www.jacksonvillegiants.com) The #2 seed Jacksonville Giants faced the #6 seed Windy City Groove this evening in Baltimore, Maryland for the American Basketball Association (ABA) Championship. It was also a rematch of the 2016 ABA Championship, which was claimed by the Giants.
Led by the Finals MVP, Maurice Mickens (6'0''-G-86, college: Le Moyne-Owen)' 31 points, the Giants wIn back-to-back championships for the second time in just seven years, defeating Chicago's Windy City Groove 120 -102.
Much like 2016, the two teams battled back and forth for much of the game. In the first quarter it was the Groove that opened an eight point lead only to see the Giants battle back and tie the game at the end of the period, 33-33.
In the second quarter the Groove again led most of the quarter and by as many as six until the Giants tied it with less than two minutes remaining. Mickens, Bernard Nugent (6'0''-PG-91, college: Clayton St.) and Jermaine Bell (7'0''-C-84, college: Indian Hills CC) led the way on offense and a stingy defense that only gave up 22 points in the quarter sparked the offense on numerous fast break baskets. Giants' Robert Hornsby (6'5''-F-82, college: Troy, agency: Pro Sports) finished the half with a pair of free throws and a three point shot that sent the defending champions into the locker room with a 60-55 lead, and a lead that they would never relinquish.
The third quarter opened with the teams trading baskets until the Giants went on a run that pushed their lead to 72-60 with 8:00 left in the quarter. The Giants took a 10-point lead into the fourth quarter, 91-81.
In the final period, The Groove cut the Giants lead to five but the Giants scored three straight baskets and pushed the lead to 11 with 8:30 to play on a thunderous slam dunk by Elijah Smith (6'8''-F-89, college: N.Georgia) on an off-the-backboard assist by Mickens on a fast break. The lead was pushed to 17 with just 3:20 remaining on a couple of Nugent drives and a Bell tip-in, 112-95.
The Giants finished the second half strong with a complete team effort that included "a great low post presence on offense and defense by Bell, Calvin Warner (6'7''-F-80, college: Jacksonville) and Elijah Smith in the low post, and our defensive MVP of the Finals (Nugent)," said team owner Ron Sholes after the game. "Defense wins championships, and I'm extremely proud of how we battled all three games," added Sholes.
A balanced Giants scoring attack included 15 points each by Larry Dumas, Bell, Smith and Hornsby, and 14 by Nugent.
After the Giants weathered the storm the first two games of the Finals, winning both games but just two points each, "the team was clicking on all cylinders tonight," said Giants' Head Coach Jerry Williams . "We played Giants basketball and this was a total team effort. I'm just proud of how we came out and dominated the game down the stretch. Windy City is a tough team so it's a well deserved championship victory," added Williams.
After the Giants celebrate their fourth ABA Title in Baltimore this evening, the team will drive back to Jacksonville on Monday and arrive home late in the evening.
  




Joe Newman
South Florida Gold tops ABA Power Rankings - 4 days ago
The American Basketball Association (ABA) has just released its Power Rankings through Sunday, Nov 12, and the South Florida Gold moved to the #1 position with a perfect 4-0 record. "It took at least one game played to be eligible," stated ABA co-founder Joe Newman , "thus the Jacksonville Giants and the Windy City Groove were not ranked this week as they begin their season next week and I would assume they'll both move up quickly." 1. South Florida Gold 4-0 2. Orlando Waves 3-0 3. Richm...   [read more]

Joshua
Davenport
Rookies will shine for Gwizzlies - 4 days ago
Four of the ABA Georgia Gwizzlies top players are in their first year of pro basketball. "I am really pleased with our new young ball players" states Embry Malone . Team opens it's 13th consecutive year in pro basketball when host a competitive Magic City Surge team November 18th. Gwizzlies rookies are TJ Sams (6'2''-G-95) from Jacksonville State, Joshua Davenport (6'5''-F-94, college: Winthrop), Denard Williams (6'6''-F, college: Ft.Valley St.) and Ralph Wilson (7'0''-C, college: Ft.Vall...   [read more]

Anthony
Knowles
Good season start for the Fury - 8 days ago
The ABA Chicago Fury are off to a 2-0 start for the season. In first game the Fury won 157-116 over Team Network. Anthony Knowles (6'5''-F) led 9 guys in double figures with 37 points and 15 rebounds. Devante Jones (5'10''-PG, college: Life) added 28 points and 7 rebs. Reggie Gallion (6'9''-C) patrolled the boards with 14 points and 24 rebs In the second game, Chicago Fury defeated the Lacross Showtime 159-137. Issac Smith III (6'1''-G-92, college: Md-E Shore) lead the Fury at 37 points 1...   [read more]


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