ABA Jacksonville Giants Suffer First Ever Regular Season Defeat

by Joe Miller
The #1 ranked Jacksonville Giants (1-1) took to the road for the first time this season to play the undefeated Atlanta Experience (5-0). Coming off of the team’s most exciting victory in its two year existence this past Saturday against the Gulf Coast Flash, the Giants were in for yet another fight against the Experience. Much like the Flash this past Saturday who battled back from an 18 point deficit against the Giants, it was the Giants who found themselves trailing by 18 in the fourth quarter this evening.
The Giants pulled within five points with just a few minutes remaining, but the Experience made several key baskets down the stretch, handing the Giants their first ever regular season defeat, 120-107.
Giants Center, and ABA All Star, Jermaine Bell led the way once again for the Giants with 21 points, followed by Matt Fields and Nick Wallery with 17 and 16 points, respectively. Anthony Lumpkin returned to the line-up from a hamstring injury and added 12 for the Giants. Wallery finished strong with 12 of his 16 in the fourth quarter, but it was not enough to stave off the Experience who improved their undefeated record to 5-0. Tim Ware led the way for the Experience with 29 and JJ Wimbush added 23. “The Experience hit ten 3-pointers and played some tough defense” said Giants Head Coach, Kevin Waters, after the game. “They’ve got a very good team and we’re going to have a battle for the Southeast Division this year,” added Waters.
The Giants, although cruising to an undefeated (23-0) regular season last year, have been adamant about doing their part to play the toughest competition possible. “You don’t get better without playing the best of the best” said Giants Owner, Ron Sholes. Last season, the Giants scheduled their first regular season game against Western Conference Champion and the 3rd ranked San Francisco Rumble. This year, the Giants brought in the team that ended their inaugural season in the Final Four and then went on the road to face a team that has proclaimed to be one of the league’s best. Tonight, the Experience proved they were worthy of that recognition. The teams will face off in a rematch next month in Jacksonville.