SB Mavericks Prepare for ABA Finals
The Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks practiced Tuesday in preparation for the upcoming ABA playoffs which will once again be held at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum. The Mavericks are undefeated (28-0) on the season and looking to defend as ABA Champions once again.
Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks News Release/Kirk Copeland
(Shreveport, LA.) – With just two weeks to go before the American Basketball Association Finals tip off at Hirsch Memorial Coliseum, the defending champion and top-seeded Shreveport-Bossier Mavericks returned to work Tuesday morning with a relaxed but spirited practice at the Mavericks Training Facility.
There were wide smiles, talk of the ongoing NCAA Tournament, and some friendly banter about the current NBA season among the players during the warmups and shootaround. The team seemed very fresh after two days off following their intrasquad scrimmage Saturday at the MTF.
The team will hold another intrasquad scrimmage this Saturday, March 28, at the MTF, with tip-off time slated for 6 p.m.
“Feeling good and getting ready to go,” said Tony Hooper, who rejoined the Mavericks (28-0) last week after a brief stint overseas.
Hooper looked very good, draining long jumper after long jumper under the
watchful eye of head coach Steve Tucker, who was noticeably pleased to have his sharpshooting guard back in the fold.
Hooper was not the only one catching the coach’s attention, however, as guard Jonathan Phelps drew praise from Tucker as he worked on shots at the far end of the court. Phelps originally joined the active roster when Hooper left in January.
“Phelps is looking really sharp lately,” said Tucker, who is aiming for an unprecedented fourth ABA title. “He was really active in the scrimmage (last Saturday), and he’s doing a lot of good things. I think he’s in a lot better shape than he was, too.”
Also back at practice Tuesday was center Jon Rogers, who received a black eye and bloody nose from an accidental elbow in Saturday’s scrimmage. Rogers did not appear to show any ill effects from the injury and should not miss any further practice time.
“We dodged a bullet with that one, but Jon’s just got a pretty good shiner and he’ll be fine,” said Tucker.
The only Maverick missing from the early portion of practice was MVP-candidate Josh Pace. “The Silent Assassin” traveled to his home in Georgia to attend to a family matter, and had a flight delay returning to Shreveport. Pace did make it back to town in time to get in some shooting prior to the end of the practice session.
The ABA Finals will take place April 7-13, with the top-seeded Mavericks, second-seeded Jacksonville Giants, and third-seeded Miami Midnites already having qualified. Six teams – the Austin BOOM, San Francisco Rumble, Chicago Steam, Bowling Green Bandits, Providence Sky Chiefs, and Birmingham Blitz – are still fighting for the remaining slot in the Finals. (For further information on the ongoing ABA playoffs, visit sbmavs.com and abafinals.com)
MAVS NOTES: Mavericks players Alex “The Ticket” Sanders, P.J. Couisnard and Pace, as well as Coach Tucker, will be on hand for the Wyndham Appreciation Cocktail Hour Friday from 5:30-6:30 p.m. at The Endzone Sports and Spirits at 2711 Almay Drive in Shreveport.
The staff of Wyndham Hotel, one of the team’s title sponsors, will be honoring the Mavericks for their second straight undefeated regular season. There will be complimentary food and drinks for those in attendance. ***** While most of the Mavs’ college alma maters have bowed out of the NCAA Tournament in advance of this weekend’s Sweet 16, Couisnard’s Wichita State Shockers are still alive for the title. Seventh-seeded Wichita State (30-4) will face third-seeded Notre Dame (31-5) Thursday at 6:15 p.m. in the Midwest Regional at Quicken Loans Arena in Cleveland. The 6-foot-4 Couisnard, who recently became the team’s starting point guard, starred for the Shockers from 2004 to 2008 after a brilliant prep career at Houston’s Yates High School.
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