The Long Beach StingRays combined discards from the eight original American Basketball League teams with top draft choice Yolanda Griffith to reach the ABL Finals in their first year of play.

However, coach Maura McHugh said her team will have to play its "best basketball" and improve defensively to wrest the title from the defending champion Columbus Quest in the best-of-5 series opening Sunday at Long Beach.Columbus won all four regular-season games against Long Beach.

The Quest set an ABL scoring record in its 111-80 victory over the StingRays in the final regular-season game between the two teams Feb. 15 in Columbus, outscoring Long Beach 34-11 in the first quarter.