Sunday’s 116-94 loss in Monterrey, Mexico, may have understandably left the now 3-3 preseason Suns disappointed, but the nearly 10,000 fans in attendance at Arena Monterrey were hard pressed to not find something to enjoy in this game.
Cheering, whistling, whooping and hollering, the crowd had no shortage of enthusiasm, regardless of the score. After all, it’s not every day the people of Mexico get an up-close view of NBA action in person.
“We have a lot of fans here in Mexico,” said Amar’e Stoudemire, who collected 15 points and eight boards in a game-high 29 minutes played, “so for us to come out and play in front of a fan base like that, that makes for a successful trip for us.
“We had a lot of fun. We really enjoyed ourselves on this trip. It’s been a rocky preseason schedule for us so far, but I think Monterrey was a lot of fun for us.”
Since the match-up was treated as a Suns home game, fans also got the royal treatment in terms of the gamenight experience during timeouts, too. That’s right. The Suns Dancers, the Verve Sol Patrol and, of course, the Gorilla, all made appearances to give the Monterrey fans a taste of what Phoenix fans get to experience each and every home game at US Airways Center.
“It was a great experience for us,” said Steve Nash who racked up 14 points and seven assists. “The fans were fantastic. It was a beautiful arena, and we had a fantastic time here in Monterrey. It’s a very nice city we’re all happy to have come play in.”
Fans got to see their Stoudemire dunks, Nash passes, a three-for-four night from long range from Suns high scorer Jason Richardson (17 points) and even Lou Amundson’s patented pogo stick-like tenacity under the rim to the tune of a game-high-tying 10 rebounds. Throw in a little Leandro Barbosa running circles around defenders (11 points) and Head Coach Alvin Gentry encouraging better all-around rebounding and defense efforts, for good measure.
So, in the end, Suns fans got pretty much everything they expected, minus the big one.
A Suns win.