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-Game Story Written by Matt Potak

The defending ABA National Champion Jacksonville Giants started the year of  2019 in style with two notable road wins. On Friday evening Jacksonville defeated the Miami based 305 Ballers, 138-114. On Sunday the Giants outlasted the St. Petersburg Tide 93-79. Both road wins improve the Giants regular season record to a perfect 7-0.

“I’m very proud of the guys,” said Giants head coach Jerry Williams. “We played as a total team.”

Williams looks lead his team to their fourth straight ABA Championship and sixth total. So far in the season the Giants are playing championship caliber basketball. The Friday night game showcased strong play from guard Bernard Nugent. Nugent led the Giants with a team high 32 points. Nugent was complimented by superb play from Miguel Paul (26 points) and reigning ABA MVP Maurice Mickens (23 points).

“Hard work pays off,” said Nugent.

The Giants and Ballers played a physical first half. However, the reigning champs scored an outstanding 61 third quarter points. The imposing 61 points was too much for Miami to come back from. Mickens and Nugent landed multiple long range three pointers while Paul helped with shots inside the paint.

“I was very proud of the third quarter performance,” said Williams.

The Sunday game featured Jacksonville traveling to St. Petersburg and defeating the Tide 93-79. Jacksonville didn’t miss a beat in the win and played many newer players in the second half.

“We played the younger guys more on Sunday and I was impressed with Chris Brown and Juondice Walker,” said Williams.

Paul (19 points), Nugent (16 points), and Mickens (14 points) rounded out the scoring leaders for the Giants on Sunday. Nugent had a double-double with 13 rebounds to go with his 16 points. The offensive tempo was too rapid for St. Pete, the Tide had issues adjusting the the speed of Jacksonville.

“I’m proud of my team,” said Paul.

Jacksonville played physical and tamed the Tide throughout the game. Whenever the Tide looked like they were getting in a rhythm the Giants would overmatch them with a powerful defensive presence. Veterans Jermaine Bell, Calvin Warner and Jerrod Tucker all played strong on the defensive side.

Added Williams
“We played as a total team and forced many turnovers.”

-Game Story Written by Matt Potak