The defending ABA National Champion Jacksonville Giants cruised past the St. Petersburg Tide, 129-107. Jacksonville improves to 20-2 and has won 18 straight games, which has moved them to a number three ranking in the latest ABA Power Poll.
“The guys played a great game tonight,” said Giants head coach Jerry Williams. “I’m very proud of the team chemistry. Each game is getting us playoff ready and the guys are feeding off each others energy and the support of our fans”
With the victory, the Giants are one win away from clinching the Southeast Division Championship for the sixth time in seven years. Last year, the Giants five year run as division champs was ended by the Miami Midnights, however the Giants went on to win the ABA National Championship. If the Giants win the division they will clinch a first round bye in the playoffs.
The ABA Championship Series begins on March 29th in Baltimore. The postseason tournament will feature the top surviving eight teams, following three weeks of play-in rounds. More playoff details will be released in the upcoming week.
Offensively the Giants were led by Jermaine Bell. Bell had another double-double as the 2014 ABA MVP scored a game high 23 points with 12 rebounds. Bernard Nugent (22 points) and Jerrod Tucker (19 points) rounded out the top scorers for Jacksonville.
The Giants opened the game with a 70-43 halftime lead. The fast paced offensive tempo was too much for St. Petersburg. Jacksonville shot 52 percent, while the Tide shot only 36 percent in the first half. Point guard Maurice Mickens had a game high 13 assists while Nugent added three steals.