Giants Win ABA Southeast Regional Championship, Advance to ABA Final 8
The reigning ABA Champion Jacksonville Giants won a nail-biter in a 106-104 win l over Baldwin County. Jacksonville has won 18 in a row and clinches the Southeast Regional Championship. The Giants will travel to Baltimore for the ABA Final 8 tournament in the coming weeks.
“It was a great hard fought win,” said Giants head coach Jerrod Tucker. “We made winning plays down the stretch, this is what championship teams do.”
Late in the game, Jacksonville trailed Baldwin County 104-103. Elijah “Superman” Smith secured the put back to put the Giants up 105-104 with less than 30 seconds remaining. Maurice Mickens secured the win at the free throw line to punch the Giants ticket to Baltimore.
Baldwin County had an advantage in the game, as the home team had a first round bye in the Regional Tournament. Baldwin did not have to play on Saturday night and the Giants had an intense battle with Georgia on Saturday. Jacksonville came into the game with some fatigue, but the defending champs did not fall. Jacksonville used their elite level conditioning to win the contest.
Mickens led the team with 21 points in the win. The former multiple time ABA MVP was able to land big shots, helping the Giants secure the win. Rob Hornsby was also impressive adding 18 points, with many of the scores coming from inside the paint. Brandon Davis rounded out the top scorers with 14 points.
Mickens was named the offensive player of the game with Elijah Smith named defensive player of the game. Smith also added 12 points.
“This kind of game makes us battle tested,” said Mickens. “This game makes us ready for the finals.”
The ABA tournament will begin on April 21 and will conclude on April 23. For more info on the Giants upcoming tournament schedule please check out www.jacksonvillegiants.com