The defending ABA Champions attacked the 2018-19 season with passion in a 162-104 route of the North Carolina based Fayetteville Flight. The Giants were led by ABA veteran and MVP Maurice Mickens. Mickens scored a game high 38 points in the victory. Jacksonville dominated the game from start to finish in the 58 point win. The Giants used an aggressive offensive game plan that resulted in eight players scoring in double digits.
“We learned a lot about the pieces to the puzzle tonight,” said Giants head coach Jerry Williams. “The veterans showed a strong start for three solid quarters. I’m very impressed with the group.”
The veterans on the team continued to shine for Jacksonville. Mickens, Jerrod Tucker (10 points), Calvin Warner (12 points), and Bernard Nugent (12 points) all contributed in the lopsided victory. A majority of the Jacksonville starters only played three quarters. The strong offensive play from the veterans helped inspire the newer Giants players.
“Mickens, Nugent and Warner were very impressive tonight,” said Williams. “Aaron Bowen and Juandrico Walker led the younger guys.”
Williams was referring to the fast tempo offensive strategy used by the team. The tempo wore down the Fayetteville defense and led to impressive scoring plays by the Giants. On offense Fayetteville couldn’t keep up with the Giants aggressive man to man defensive presence.
“It was a great win,” said Warner. “It was a great way to start the journey back to the top.”
Several of the younger Giant players contributed in the win. Bowen, a three year Giant player was flawless. Bowen, a former Georgetown star, scored 25 points. Walker had a double-double with 18 points and a game high 27 rebounds. Newcomer Brent Williams added 18 points and also played strong on the boards.
“We started another season of playing Giants basketball,” said Tucker, who missed a majority of the 2017-18 season with an injury. “A lot of work ahead but I’m looking forward to the grind.”
Giants Gamebox Highlights
Star of the Game: Veteran Point guard Maurice Mickens. Mickens led the team with 38 points and seven three pointers. The reigning ABA MVP has yet to slow down during his powerful playing career.
Turning Point: Aaron Bowen’s 13 first half points combined with Mickens 15 third quarter points proved to be enough for the struggling Fayetteville team. The large deficit was too much for the Flight to overcome.
On Defense: Veterans Tucker, Nugent and Warner played strong defense which kept the Flight grounded throughout the contest. Walker’s 27 rebounds also played a key role in the game.
Next Game: Jacksonville plays Fayetteville on Sunday to close out the weekend series. Jacksonville will play an offsite game on Wednesday evening December 12 at St.Joseph’s Academy in St. Augustine.