Cangrejeros de Santurce (basketball)
|Cangrejeros de Santurce|
|Arena||Roberto Clemente Coliseum|
|Location||San Juan, Puerto Rico|
|Team colors||White, Orange, Blue
|Head coach||Paco Olmos|
|Championships||8 (1962, 1968, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007)|
The Cangrejeros de Santurce (English: "Santurce Crabbers") are a Puerto Rican professional basketball team based in Santurce, a neighborhood within San Juan, that competes in the National Superior Basketball (BSN) league. The team was founded in 1918 and began active play in the BSN in 1956. The Cangrejeros play their home games at the Roberto Clemente Coliseum and saw their greatest success during the late 1990s and early 2000s. They are known for having one of the BSN's greatest dynasties, once winning five championships in a six year span, including four consecutive titles. Those five championship teams were led by NBA veterans José "Piculín" Ortíz and Carlos Arroyo and coach Julio Toro. The Cangrejeros are the fourth most successful BSN franchise, winning eight championships after making fourteen BSN Finals in their history.
The first years
Founded in 1918, the team has included name players such as Teófilo Cruz, and Rafael Valle. Cruz, #13, played for 25 seasons being MVP in 4 seasons and leading the BSN in points per game 2 times. He was the starting center of the PR national basketball team in the times when Puerto Rico and Brazil where the two most dominant teams in the Americas outside the USA. Valle, #5, arguably the best power forward in BSN history, played actively in 8 seasons finishing MVP and first in points per game in 1956. He was active in 2 Olympic games, where he led Puerto Rico in scoring both times. After 2 championships, and several finals, the Santurce Crabbers played their last season in 1976.
On 1998, Angelo Medina acquired the Aguadilla Sharks and the San Juan Capitalinos, merged them and acquired other free agents (in a time where there was no Free Agency in the BSN) to revive the Cangrejeros, who started playing in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum. The team featured players like: Jose "Piculin" Ortiz, Carlos Arroyo, Orlando "Guayacan" Santiago and Jeffrey Aubry. Besides those players, Santurce featured as a coach Julio Toro, who was the coach of the national team and had previously won a championship in the league. The team went on to defeat the Ponce Lions in the final.
Rolando Hourruitiner would join the Cangrejeros in 1999. Santurce won the BSN championship in 2000, 2001 and 2003. In all those championships the team was led by Ortiz, Arroyo and Horrutinier, the 3 then members of the national team. For the 2007 season, the Crabbers once again became BSN champion.
Move from the Roberto Clemente Coliseum
In 2005, the mayor of San Juan, Jorge Santini, decided that the Cangrejeros could no longer play in the Roberto Clemente Coliseum because the assistance was low and it was not worth playing there., and offered them the Pedrin Zorrilla Court, which is used for volleyball. The mayor of Guaynabo, Hector O'Neil, offered Medina use of the Mario Morales Coliseum, located in Guaynabo, and Medina decided to split home games between the recently opened Puerto Rico Coliseum. The games at the Puerto Rico Coliseum averaged an attendance of 10,000. Santini and the municipality of San Juan insisted that the Pedrin Zorrilla should be used, and even had a giant billboard in front of the coliseum that read We want this (the Pedrin Zorrilla) to be the new home of the Cangrejeros. The use of the "Quijote" Morales contributed to the return of a professional team in Guaynabo (Guaynabo Conquistadors).
In 2007, the Cangrejeros advanced to the league's round robin, following a 73-70 victory over Fajardo. In this game Robert Traylor scored the first triple-double in the season with 17 points, 15 rebounds and ten blocks. This total established a new record in blocks for a single game, breaking the previous record of nine. With less than a minute remaining Orlando Santiago scored a free throw and subsecuently stole a ball to secure a win. The Cangrejeros would reach the finals and face the Arecibo Captains, defeating them in the series to win the league's championship.
To this date, the team remains playing home games in Guaynabo and the Puerto Rico Coliseum. The Puerto Rico Coliseum is only used in playoffs and regular season games against teams that attract a large crowd such as the Arecibo Captains, Ponce Lions and Bayamon Cowboys.
In 2008, the Cangrejeros advanced to the league's "Super 6" semifinals. They began a series against the Arecibo Captain on June 5, 2008. Santurce won the first game, but lost the second. This was followed by a series against the Gigantes de Carolina, winning the first game.
|Cangrejeros retired numbers|
|10||Rene "Chiqui" Davila|
Cangrejeros de Santurce roster
Notable former players
- BSN Championship (8):
- 1962, 1968, 1998, 1999, 2000, 2001, 2003, 2007
Notable former coaches
- Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón (2007-06-15). "Acción". El "Tractor" clasifica (in Spanish). Puerto Rico: Primera Hora. p. 88.
- Lester Jiménez (2008-06-06). "Ayuso fue puro veneno" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
- Raúl Álzaga Sánchez-Bretón (2008-06-07). "Arecibo sigue vivito" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Retrieved 2008-06-13.
- Lester Jiménez (2008-06-13). "¡Están vivos!" (in Spanish). Primera Hora. Retrieved 2008-06-13.