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..Thousands of basketball fans who turned up to pack the Santiago Martín stadium for the first Tenerife derby in 18 years will be hoping that the return in March will be just as thrilling.
Former ACB side Tenerife Rural hosted near neighbours Socas Canarias, who were promoted this year to the LEB league and have taken the division by surprise in the early fixtures.
Almost 5000 fans packed the stadium, including hundreds from the ‘away’ club who made the game more like a home one for Socas.
Socas’ performances to date have taken the division by surprise 24.11.2007
- The match itself - preceded by some ill feeling as a result of Tenerife’s decision to put ticket prices up - was evenly contested up until the final quarter when the home team, led by Antwain Barbour and Kiril Wachsmann, capitalised on lapses by their opponents and took what looked to be a definitive 14-point lead. Socas coach Alejandro Martínez called two time-outs within the space of a minute to rectify positions and plays, and the words of wisdom had a dramatic effect as the lead was whittled down to just a few points with seconds remaining. Tenerife were still in control but guard Julio González inexplicably gave the ball away to an inspired Jason Detrick, who was fouled as he went for the basket and then coolly netted his two free throws to give Socas the lead with six seconds left. A final attempt by Barbour to win the game was just inches away from succeeding and the failed shot led to pandemonium on the court. Socas players, some of them in tears (of joy!), ran all the way up to the uppermost tier of the stadium to join their loyal following to celebrate the 90-89 win. Shellshocked Tenerife coach Rafa Sanz admitted his players had lost their nerve as they saw Socas edge closer in the dying minute and a half, while Socas chairman Félix Hernández confessed later that the victory “was not in the plans when the fixture list was drawn up” but was “gratefully accepted”, particularly due to the very tough games coming up before Christmas.
|Gallery: New boys draw first blood in derby|
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