Our defending champion Jacksonville Giants returned home for the first home game of the new season, ready to avenge their opening night loss from Palm Beach a week ago. They were set to take on the Florida All Stars and saying that Jacksonville rose to the occasion would be an understatement. The stands were packed and the place was rocking as the Giants captured their first win of the young season.

Right off the tip, the Giants were in control of the game as we saw them locking down the perimeter and getting to the rim at will. Establishing a physical and fast pace game early on, it was evident new coach Jerrod Tucker was hungry for his first win of his new Giants career. He took a 50 point lead into half and ended up securing that win in a dominant 172-60 final.

Teamwork was the story of this impressive outing for the squad, as 6 different players finished with double digit scoring figures. Newcomer Khaliq Williams led the way with 21 and returning big man Aluk Adub followed right behind with 19. High flying Elijah Smith has his handprints all over the ball, soaring end to end with show stopping dunks and jaw dropping blocks. He totaled 17 points and the flashy backcourt of Nugent and Mickens did their part combining for 25 points and a number of steals leading to fast break finishes.

It was a true statement win for the reigning ABA champions, who now seek to throw that 0-1 start out of the window and build momentum moving forward. The new faces seemed comfortable and Coach Tucker proved he can establish a tone in a game. The Giants now turn towards this Saturday’s matchup against the St. Augustine Glory, at 6pm at Christ the Catholic, as they seek a 2-1 record and to start a new winning streak.

-Jared Gravel