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Tenerife Rural’s amazing win over high-flying Lleida in the first home game of the year in the Santiago Martín stadium was attributed by coach Rafa Sanz to just two things: “balls”. Even Sanz himself must have been scratching his head wondering how his players pulled off a win that seemed well beyond their reach for all but one minute of the match.
The fans were growing visable anxious before the side picked up their game 20.01.2008
- Having lost first-choice playmaker Pedro Llompart before the game and then seen Julio guard González limp off after just two minutes on court, the coach knew he had a job on his hands to contain the impressive Lleida side and his fears were realised when Tenerife could net only two points in the first five minutes.
Dismal shooting (one successful three-pointer from 16 attempts in the first half) ensured Tenerife were kept at arms length by Lleida, who led by 12 points well into the second half. With the crowd growing visibly anxious at the failure to score, suddenly the distance shots began to go in and the home side racked up 14 consecutive points without reply to take the lead with seconds remaining and defend well from a last-ditch attack by the Catalans.
In the post-game press conference, Sanz admitted he was at a loss to account for the turn-around but applauded his players for showing “they had balls when it really mattered”.
|Gallery: Ball victory for Tenerife|
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