DAVIE, Fla. – The Miami Midnites professional basketball team, the Minor League affiliate of the Maccabi Haifa basketball franchise in Israel, were crowned the Florida Basketball Association champion after defeating the Tampa Bay Rebels 98-82 on Sunday at the David Posnack Jewish Community Center. The Midnites (13-1) concluded their inaugural season in the FBA on a 10-game winning streak. Miami’s Orane Chin, a former Cal State Fullerton forward, was named MVP of the Championship, tallying 23 points on 9-of-18 from the field (5-of-8 from beyond the arc) and pulled down 8 rebounds.
Six Miami players scored in double-figures with standout Cedric McGowan registering 17 points, 8 rebounds, and 4 assists. Miami’s Terrance Shelman notched a double-double on 13 points and 10 rebounds. The Midnites crashed the boards, out rebounding the Rebels 69-to-58. The Miami defense pressured Tampa Bay all afternoon, forcing 28 turnovers, while registering 10 steals.
Midnites coach, Shakey Rodriguez, on the game, “I’m very proud of the guys. The defense in the first half was the best of the year. By virtue of that we got a big lead early. Today we defended and we rebounded and that was the key. The guys wanted to win and they come through the way they had to.”
Aventura businessman, the owner of the Maccabi Haifa basketball franchise in Israel, and the Miami Midnites owner, Jeff Rosen on the successful first season of the Midnites, “Our first year in Israel, our Maccabi Haifa team got to the Final, but we came out short. So, it feels extra sweet to be here in Miami in the States to get it done this time. I’m really proud of the guys and that we could bring home the championship.”