ANDhe Gran Canaria clings to the ‘play-off’ of the Endesa League after beating a tough Morabanc Andorra (84-78) on Wednesday, who squeezed them until the last bars in a duel of contrasts and maximum intensity.
The versatility of Shurna (13 points) and Brussino (another 13 and a PIR of 22) made it possible to cushion the superiority of the visitors’ inside game (32 rebounds by the locals compared to 40 rebounds by the Andorrans), offset by the points from ex-yellow players Hannah (12) and Paulí (10).
After a timorous start in attack and tense in both defenses, equality prevailed on the parquet floor of the Gran Canaria Arena with rickety differences in the first bars (7-8 after the first five minutes of play).
After the first points of former yellow player Oriol Paulí -two almost consecutive triples-, the whole of the Principality was lacerated by the two fouls pointed out to its main center, Víctor Arteaga, a situation that worsened with a subsequent triple by Shurna and a layup by Albicy (12-8).
The islander’s 7-0 partial response was answered by Morabanc with the first changes, closing the bleeding with points from Llovet and Jelinek (16-13). Cherry and Stevic stretched the gum for the Claretians, while Diagne discounted from the perimeter to close the first quarter with a tight 20-16.
In the second round, the Andorrans managed to turn the result around in a jiffy with the entry of Babatunde Olumuyiwa and the leading role of another former ‘Granca’ player, Clevin Hannah (20-23), but their 0-7 run vanished also instantly, when the yellow outsides start to run (26-23).
In any case, the presence of the player from Sierra Leone was a real headache in the island paint, making room for other players such as Arteaga or Diagne, who then forged a 0-10 partial (26-33) that forced the local coach, Porfi Fisac, to request a time-out.
The tactical stoppage had its effect and the stripes Shurna and Brussino took over the Gran Canaria team, leading to an 8-1 comeback to level the contest again (34-34). From then on, the exchange of blows intensified, closing the first half with the score tied (39-39).
After the break, the defensive intensity and the errors in both hoops increased even more. Jelinek brought out his wrist in the Morabanc, while Salvó and Chery showed the most pigeon side of him in a third period to the face of a dog.
Paulí emerged again as the minutes went by, but the yellow outside shot stopped any reaction from the visitors (63-61).
Already in the last quarter, Andorra took advantage of the personal fouls and a technique to Fisac ??to appear in the electronic (72-75). Ennis and Albicy adjusted the nuts in the island direction (77-76) in a heart attack outcome.
In the end, a shot by Shurna and free throws by Brussino saved the furniture for a Gran Canaria that suffered greatly against an Andorra that ended up falling short in its last ordago with the two missed shots by Jelinek (84-78).
84. CB Gran Canaria (20+19+24+21): Albicy (10), Salvó (10), Ennis (13), Shurna (13) and Pustovyi (10) -initial team-; Balcerowski (2), K. Diop (-), Brussino (13), Chery (9) and Stevic (4).
78. Morabanc Andorra (16+23+22+17): Miller-McIntyre (10), Paulí (10), Crawford (7), Morgan (-) and Arteaga (7) -initial quintet-; Olumuywa (9), Hannah (12), Jelinek (9), Franke (2), Llovet (4 and Diagné (8)
Referees: Juan Carlos García González, Javier Torres and David Sánchez. Without eliminated.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the nineteenth day of the Endesa League played at the Gran Canaria Arena before 3,427 spectators.