July 25, 2024

Taylor Daily Press

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Ostend overtakes ferocious Antwerp after a catch-up race to claim their 13th consecutive national title

Ostend overtakes ferocious Antwerp after a catch-up race to claim their 13th consecutive national title

Ostend was once again crowned the best Belgian basketball team. In the Lotto Arena, the star Ahmed presented the show, although the West Flemish players were still shaking after their strong recovery from the Antwerp giants. Thanks to free throws from birthday boy Sam van Rossum, Ostend outlasted their rival on their way to their 25th and 13th title in a row. A nice farewell gift from and to the Belgian sports legend.

They were unable to win an away match in the title final. But for birthday boy Sam van Rossum – and with the national title on the line – Ostend was very keen to change that.

The visitors were consistently in control in an intense first half. The forward-looking Antwerp appeared from time to time, especially when Jovanovic lifted his team to 3 points, but at no time did he give the impression that he could find his footing next to Ostend.

The finishing percentage indicates Antwerp’s deficit: barely 30%, compared to 46% in Ostend. But at 35-29 at halftime, anything was still possible.

Director Van Buggenout and finisher Mwema also realized this. The latter led to Lotto Arena exploding with two three-pointers in a row. Yet another tough third quarter for the Giants. The gap? Still relatively large: 53-61.

However, the home team continued to press. Ostend coach Girgia had to keep his composure off the line when he saw his team committing too unforced attacking errors or when his players caused substitutions.

Fortunately, the coach included Ahmed in his team. The star of the evening was a constant pest for Antwerp, with 29 points and important three-pointers.

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At least Van Rossum’s free throws mattered. The score rose to 71-74 and Oostende beat the Giants in a very exciting final.

Thus, the retired Belgian basketball legend gave his team the title at the age of 38. It is the 25th in the club’s history and the 13th in a row.

Final (Best of 5)
Ostend Antwerp giants 93-89
Antwerp giants Ostend 87-66
Ostend Antwerp giants 82-69
Antwerp giants Ostend 71-74

Final title

Ostend claims its 25th national title

Over and over again in the final title! Ostend won an away match for the first time and lead 3-1. Read above a comprehensive report on Game 4, which also marked Sam van Rossum’s farewell.

Watch a comprehensive recap of Game 3

Ostend can already smell the title

Ostend also confirmed its superiority at home in the third match of the title final. Thanks to a 29-19 lead in the first quarter, Ostend was on top the entire game. There was little the Antwerp giants could do to unseat the national champions. Especially since Rasser Bolton played a mediocre game with 14 points.

The same cannot be said for Damian Jefferson. He was crowned top scorer with 28 points. Pierre-Antoine Gillet and Khalilullah Ahmed added 16 and 10 more points.

Ostend can finish the tournament in Antwerp on Monday, which would mean a 13th consecutive national title. If that doesn’t work, there will always be a follow-up two days later in your private room.

We’re still not there yet, we need another one. The big difference from the previous match was our defence. Now we can prevent them from registering.

Sam van Rossum (Ostend)

Van Rossum: “Every match can be difficult, we still need one for the championship”

Watch a comprehensive recap of Game 2:

Stealing the “home game” will be crucial in the title fight.

Joe van Bogenhout, Antwerp Giants

Joe Van Bogenhout’s reaction after the second game

Giants draw against Ostend

The Antwerp giants responded strongly in the final battle of Belgian basketball. After a narrow loss at Beachside, the Giants won at home, 87-66.

As in the first leg, the encounter once again started very evenly. As basketball progressed, Ostend narrowly won the first quarter in the Lion’s Den with a score of 17-18, and in a nerve-wracking second quarter the score was 18-19 in favor of the visitors.

But then the nerves changed completely. To the sound of an enthusiastic home crowd, the Giants started off a great third quarter. In no time Ostend blasted away mercilessly by clear scores 36-12. A huge gap that the home team did not concede in the final.

The final score was 87-66 to the Giants, who tied with Ostend.

Watch a comprehensive recap of Game 1:

Ostend takes the lead

The payoff from the first half turned out to be enough.

Oostende won the first match in the title final against Antwerp Giants. After an equal first quarter in which both teams scored easily, the home team had the upper hand.

With the Americans Ahmed (24 points) and Jefferson (23 points) leading, the difference between the defending champions increased to 10 points. It read 50-40 on the scoreboard after halftime.

The Antwerp giants tried to recover after the break, but will they really shake Ostend? No, this didn’t work. Until the closing minutes. The visitors did everything they could – led by Jovanovic (21 points) – to avoid that first defeat.

They came close, but Ostend stood its ground. After four and ten minutes of basketball, the final score is 93-89. The current champion distributes the first shot.

Quarters: 27-26, 23-14, 20-21, 23-28.

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