BNXT League

10 out of 10 for Oostende, Brussels blown out

Filou Oostende won Saturday night in Okapi Aalst (74-79) on the 10th game day of the betFIRST BNXT League. On Sunday, Phoenix Brussels Basketball lost to Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen and Spirou Basket Charleroi lost after overtime to Telenet Giants Antwerp. 

Who will be able to topple the defending champion this season? After ten games in the league, no team has managed to hold BCO in check. And yet,  Okapi Aalst had every reason to believe it could pull off the upset. If Oostende was leading at the end of the first quarter (20-24), the home team had a huge second quarter (26-10), with Paulius Vinskauskas leading the way (21 points and 9 assists in total). Despite a nice advantage at halftime (46-34), Okapi could not resist to the BCO comeback after the break. The visitors first closed to 59-54 at the end of the third act before completely turning the tables in the final stretch. For Oostende ranks, the two American guards stood out: Phil Booth compiled 17 points, 10 rebounds and 6 assists while Levi Randolph scored 18 points. Oostende remains undefeated at the top of the standings. Aalst, on the other hand, suffered its third consecutive defeat.

After having made Mons doubt on Friday, Phoenix Brussels completely collapsed on their home court on Sunday against Kangoeroes Basket Mechelen (76-112). Brussels competed for only eight minutes. The last two minutes of the first quarter allowed the visitors to extend their lead (17-27). Kangoeroes, in full confidence, had already scored 7 three-pointers in 10 minutes (they will score 18 in total). The Brussels defense was nowhere and conceded 35 points in the second quarter. The score displayed by the scoreboard at halftime seemed almost unreal: 31-62. Brussels had to try to limit the damage at the end of the second half, but the gap was still growing during the third act, easily won by Mechelen (50-90 after 30 minutes). Brussels won the last quarter for the honor but morally this defeat could leave traces. On the other side, two former Brussels players shone. Domien Loubry had 20 points and 10 assists, and Jona Foerts scored 23 points. Between them, they scored 9 three-pointers during the game. Kangoeroes remain in the race for the top 5, while Brussels sinks to the last place.

There was a lot more suspense at the Lotto Arena where the Telenet Giants Antwerp won against Spirou Basket Charleroi after overtime (90-81). The first quarter was very close, with a score of 19-15. The Giants started the second quarter with a 7-0 run that increased the gap to 11 units but Spirou reacted with Alex Libert and Vincent Kesteloot hitting three-pointers. The visitors reversed the trend at the buzzer and led 36-43 at halftime. After the break, Antwerp closed the gap in less than three minutes and continued to lead 64-59 at the end of the third quarter. Charleroi didn’t give up and could count on Milan Samardzic (8 points in the last quarter) to force overtime (75-75). The experience of the Giants finally made the difference. On the Antwerp side, Elvar Fridriksson finished the game with 25 points and 10 assists. For Spirou, Vincent Kesteloot showed himself against his former team with 24 points and 7 rebounds.

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