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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.
  




CJ Henderson
ABA League Australia announces first team: MELBOURNE MANTA - 2 days ago
The American Basketball Association (ABA) announced that ABA League Australia added its first team to the league which will begin play in 2019, the Melbourne Manta. "Obviously, we are very excited about this," stated ABA CEO Joe Newman . "CJ Henderson , CEO of ABA Australia, has worked long and hard putting the league together there with some exciting and creative innovations that will insure the success of the league. We couldn't be happier." The team will be owned by Brian Vaughn, forme...   [read more]

Joe Newman
Syracuse Stallions hold #1 spot in ABA Power Rankings - 6 days ago
The American Basketball Association (ABA) today released its Power Rankings through Sunday, January 13th and the Syracuse Stallions held the #1 spots by a small margin over the San Francisco City Cats with the Wyoming Valley Clutch and the Richmond Elite close behind. "This has been quite a season thus far," stated ABA CEO Joe Newman , "We have quite a few undefeated teams into the third month of the season and shortly both the Jacksonville Giants and South Florida Gold, both of which are...   [read more]
ABA SCORES - Weekend of January 12, 13 - 6 days ago
eam Network over Detroit Hoops, 136-94 San Francisco City Cats over San Diego Kings, 131-109 PG Valor over Pottstown Flames, 154-106 Chicago Steam over South Bend Monarchs, 116-111 Music City Jazz over Southwest Warriors, 142-118 Baltimore Hawks over Reading Wizards, forfeit West Mass Zombies over New England Outatowners, 136-121 Cent Texas Nighthawks over Tri City All Stars, 139-108 St. Louis Spirits over Georgia Gwizzlies, 130-86 Atlanta Storm over Missouri Capitals, 130-125 Magic City...   [read more]


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