ANDhe Río Breogán hastens its play-off options at the cost of a timorous Gran Canaria, even with the shock of the recent European elimination in the body, which it surpassed in island territory by an agonizing 84-86.
Despite dragging the absences due to injury of Haynes and Musa, the team from Lugo surpassed the yellows in intensity with an offensive display by both Iván Cruz (22 points and a PIR of 31) and the North American Tyler Kalinowski -another 19 points and 7 assists- , thus deactivating the annotation of Slaughter (19) and Chery (16) in the Claretian ranks.
The Galician team took the initiative in the early stages with the success of Kalinowski and Sakho (6-11), but with the first rotations and the brilliant entry of Chery, the yellow team managed to turn the tables (16-13 ).
After the time out requested by the visiting coach, Veljko Mrsic, Breogán managed to take back the baton of the clash once again with Kalinoski as a stiletto, supported by Lukovic and Mahalbasic, discounting for the insular Slaughter and Ennis from the perimeter to close the initial period with a tight 20-21.
In the second quarter he changed the script. The Senegalese Khalifa Diop emerged from the area to combine with a more than inspired Chery from the outside -10 points so far-, forging between the two an 11-3 partial (31-24).
The difference reached ten with the entry of Ennis and Salvó (41-31), although Breogán gradually reduced the spill, with baskets by Cruz, Lukovic and Malhabasic (41-38). In any case, free throws by Shura and Pustovyi allowed Gran Canaria to get some fresh air before the break (44-40).
After the break, Porfi Fisac’s pupils tried to open the gap again, taking advantage of Shurna’s inspiration in the mid-distance positions (48-40), but Kalinowski and Kacinas reduced any hint of distance (54-53).
Slaughter put land in the middle again from the outside line (63-55), immediately waking up Kalinowski from his scoring ‘banishment’ (63-60). The meeting entered into a continuous exchange of blows that left the islanders with a slight advantage going into the last period (68-62).
In the final assault the sequence was further sharpened. It was already a dog’s game, with a 2-12 run for the Galicians who managed to turn the match around (70-72) in just two and a half minutes.
The statistics of the Gran Canaria team were twisted, while the people of Lugo walked fluidly through the area. It was then that Slaughter’s wrist emerged to turn the match upside down both inside and from the perimeter (79-76).
A free throw by Mahalbasic and a triple by Cruz put Breogán back in the lead (79-80), followed by Ennis responding with a layup (81-80). Kacinas then made it 81-82 from the free throw line before Fisac ??called a timeout with 36 seconds to go.
A triple by Slaughter with 14 seconds to go left the match flirting with extra time, but a penetration by Erik Quintela in the final seconds allowed Breogán to seal an epic victory at the Gran Canaria Arena (84-86).
84. CB Gran Canaria (20+24+24+16): Albicy (-), Brussino (5), Slaughter (19), Shurna (11) and Pustovyi (6) -initial team-; Balcerowski (-), K. Diop (4), Stevic (), Chery (3), Salvó (6), Ennis (14) and Chery (16).
86. Breogan River (21+19+22+24): Kacinas (7), Kalinowski (19), Sakho (5), E. Quintela (6), Cruz (22) -initial quintet-; Lukovic (7), Mahalbasic (13), S. Quintela (2), Jankovic (5) and Ubal (-).
Referees: Juan Carlos García González, Javier Torres and Vicente Martínez. Without eliminated.
Incidents: Match corresponding to the thirty-first day of the Endesa League played at the Gran Canaria Arena before 3,717 spectators.