Pittsburgh Pipers capture ABA title

By Albert Auvil

United Press International

PITTSBURGH — The American Basketball Association is here to stay.

This was the opinion of coach Vince Cazzetta of Pittsburgh and Babe McCarthy of New Orleans.

“Alex Hannum and Bill Sharman have given our league such prestige that I don’t see how it can do anything but succeed,” Cazzetta said.

Hannum and Sharman signed contracts last week to coach Oakland and Los Angeles in the ABA. Both formerly coached in the National Basketball Association.

Future looks good

McCarthy said he felt the future of the ABA looked very good.

He said Pittsburgh in Connie Hawkins had “one of the greatest” basketball players in the country. He also lauded Charlie Williams, Pittsburgh’s smooth guard.

Williams scored 35 points and Hawkins 20 to lead Pittsburgh to a 122-113 victory over New Orleans Saturday night for the first championship of the ABA.

Williams scored 21 of his points in the first half as the Pipers moved to a 67-55 lead at intermission. The Pipers led 102-86 after three periods.

Game plan

Cazzetta said that was his game plan.

“We tried to get so far ahead of New Orleans that they couldn’t catch up,” he said. “We played near perfect ball for the first three periods, but then we began to tire.”

New Orleans took advantage of the Piper lapse to pull within five points, 113-108, with four minutes remaining.

But Doug Moe, New Orleans’ leading scorer with 28 points, got involved in an argument with referee Andy Hershock over a call and was banished. Moe’s loss rattled the Buccaneers, and Art Heyman took advantage of the break to score two quick layups to ice the win for Pittsburgh.

More than 11,00 fans — the second largest crowd of the season — watched the deciding game in the best-of-seven series.

This made Cazzetta very happy.

“I have appealed to Pittsburgh fans time and again to come out and watch us,” he said. “I hope they won’t desert us next year.”


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