MABA celebrates inaugural championship game
OKLAHOMA CITY, OK. - The inaugural championship game of the new Mid-American Basketball Associati
on began with a bang from the Oklahoma City Servants. The team hit three unanswered two-point buckets before the end of the first minute of the game. In perhaps a hint of the aggressively played game to come, that minute also included a foul from the Servants and a turnover by the Wichita Wizards.
By 10:28, the Servants had gone on an unanswered 11-0 run. A Wizard bucket drew a foul and a trip to the charity stripe put the Wichita team was on the scoreboard.
The second quarter saw the intensity picking up from the Wizards - along with frustration from both teams. A faulty air conditioner had turned the court into an oven and the staff was mopping up sweat from the hardwoods that was making the game a bit more difficult.`Nevertheless, the two teams continued to battle, pushing through with the tenacity the fledgling MABA league has become known for.
The Oklahoma City Servants (11-1) and the Wichita Wizards (9-3) are longtime rivals, even meeting up before in championship matches. Still, they came together for one thing last year - being among the founding teams of the new Mid-America Basketball Association. The new professional league is led by owners and the commissioner Romio Harvey.
"One of our main goals is to interact with our communities and build a fun, family-oriented environment - through this beautiful game of basketball," said Harvey. The full bleachers at the game seemed to indicate that the league is off to a good start. OKC fans turned up and Wizards' fans made the nearly three-hour trip to cheer on their team.
The two top teams of the MABA continued to play in the heat, with offensive and defensive rebounds key in the second quarter, which ended 65-77 in favor of the Servants.
In the fourth, the Wizards mounted a rally, bringing fresh legs off the bench. The team brought the score within nine but the Servants' stole the ball, forced turnoveers and circled the net looking for rebounds. Halfway through the fourth, both teams wereshowing the effects of the heat which included fewer smiles and the friendly, goodnatured banter the two teams have become known for in the MABA. The Servants continued to drive to the net, while the Wizards doggedly tried to keep pace.
The game ended with the Servants on top, 139-123, and the team are the first MABA Champions.