ANDhe CB Gran Canaria scored a victory that is worth gold for its goal of reaching the play-off of the Endesa League in a heart-stopping duel against an intense Surne Bilbao Basket who, through their success on the perimeter and their discipline defense put the yellow team on the ropes (88-86).

Goudelock’s points (26) and the success of Inglis and Hakanson -both with 14- were deactivated in the end by the collective work of the Claretian team and the offensive work of the trident Slaughter-Shurna-Ennis (47 points between the three).

In a brilliant start in both hoops, both islanders and Basques began raising the offensive bar (12-13 in the middle of the first quarter), with baskets by Ennis and Shurna on the yellow side answered with success from the Goudelock perimeter, which signed three almost consecutive triples in the early stages of the duel.

The offensive errors of the Bilbao team led to a 6-0 comeback for the Gran Canaria team, which visiting coach Álex Mumbrú tried to cut short with a timeout. And the tactical parenthesis worked to close the wound, since the success of Inglis in the paint and Hakanson in the perimeter allowed the contest to be turned around once again (20-21).

A subsequent triple by Claretian AJ Slaughter and a final layup by Witney certified maximum equality in a first quarter with high figures (23-23), which predicted a dog-fight duel for the play-off.

In the second quarter the defensive intensity continued. Bilbao did not give up pressure throughout the field, and Gran Canaria multiplied the aid in the area. The result remained the same (31-32 at 5:10 for the break), but the scoring rate slowed and the number of errors and turnovers increased on both sides of the court.

After Inglis’ display -including a triple from almost midfield-, the locals took the reins again with the versatility of Shurna and Brussino (35-32), although the game was still more than effervescent. Goudelock and Witney made an appearance to make it 40-41 and then Brussino and Shurna carried the Claretian team on their backs to close the first half with an island advantage (47-46).

After the break, the exchange of blows intensified, although as the minutes passed Bilbao Basket found a loophole with triples by Hakanson (56-62), which were then seconded by Witney and Goudelock to seal a third period in favor of the Basques (65-70).

Already in the final assault, ‘Granca’ came back to life with a partial 9-3 (74-73), although Mumbrú’s pupils continued with the same script: more intensity in defense and more triples. Slaughter and Chery kept the locals going and Goudelock took his doll for a walk when needed (81-82 at 3:35 to wrap).

The game continued in that unpredictable roulette, with continuous exchanges on the electronic. The success in the triple sustained Bilbao although the losses in turn weighed down the visitors. Gran Canaria went from less to more and in the end, after Ennis’s free throws and Hakanson’s mistake combined with the loss in the last possession of the Biscayan team, it made it possible for the yellow team to add a golden victory for the play-off (88-86).

Data sheet:

88. CB Gran Canaria (23+24+18+23): Albicy (5), Brussino (10), Ennis (16), Shurna (16) and Pustovyi (8) -initial team-; Balcerowski (2), K. Diop (4), Salvó (6), Slaughter (15) and Chery (6).

86. Surne Bilbao Basket (23 + 23 + 24 + 16): Goudelock (26), Luz (5), Masiulis (5), Walker (0) and Delgado (5) -initial team-; Inglis (14), Witney (10), Rousselle (5), Peno (-), Rigo (-), Reyes (2) and Hakanson (14).

Referees: Benjamin Jimenez, Martin Caballero and Hector Baez. They eliminated visitor Inglis by personnel.

Incidents: Match corresponding to the twenty-ninth day of the Endesa League played at the Gran Canaria Arena before 4,303 spectators.