Mansfield Giants men pulled off a last gasp 87-84 win over the mighty Derby Trailblazers in an NBL Division Three North clash at Oak Tree Leisure Centre last weekend.
The Giants came out full of gusto, taking the first quarter 19-12, holding the visitors to a key defensive target of no more that 14 points.
As the second quarter unfolded, players linked up to play some great team basketball with points coming from the perimeter and inside the key to outscore the Trailblazers 28-22, taking the scoreline to 47-34 in favour of the home side.
The third saw a change in attitude from the away side as they started to find their way to the basket and shooting range as they took the quarter 23- 19, with former Barcelona player and Spanish junior international player Perez nailing nine of his 18-point haul.
The Giants continued to find Barry Plummer with interior passes to manage to keep the lead by nine, taking the score to 66-57 in favour of the Giants.
As the Trailblazers fought back, the Giants foul themselves in early foul trouble and by the ninth minute of the fourth quarter Plummer had been fouled out of the game, leaving the home side without their dominant big man who had caused so many problems for Derby.
Two time-outs were take in the final minute of the game as the Giants tried desperately to out manoeuvre the visitors.
With four seconds left after the last time-out, the Giants finally in-bounded the ball from a special play drawn up to secure victory.
Coach Ian Richards said: “This was another great win for the Giants and a real crowd pleaser.
“The support of the home team spectators helped to pull this win off and we are truly grateful for their support.
“The team played very well in the first half, but we lost our way a bit in the third and fourth quarters. Having said that, we managed to hold on which keeps us on track in the league.
“I was very pleased with the team’s performance all-round, but the four juniors all stepped up to the plate and produced opportunities to support the overall score by adding points.”
Giants scorers: Calvin Morant-Hudson 29, Barry Plummer 27, Keagan Allen 8, Liam Burton, Gary Collins & Jojo Owusu-nsah 6 each, Dan Burmiston 5, Nathan Halstead 3.