What passion, what tension, what quality: this third finale, pregnant with importance, captivated from the first to the last minute.
For the first time in this final series, coach Bosnic opted for a purely American basic five. Gjergja stayed with his five Belgians, three of which were Belgian Lions on the throw.
From 7-8, Smith (12 points in the opening quarter) controlled the game and the scoreboard. Ostend took matters into their own hands after 20-20. Under the direction of Schwartz, the Real duo Sylla-Nakic and Gillet propelled the coastal team to 31-22. But Durham and Smith crept closer to halftime to 33-29.
The third company was not even three minutes young when the error load increased significantly in the Ostend camp: Mwema (4), Djordjevic, Buysschaert and Troisfontaines (3 each). Bergen changed a 44-40 deficit into a 44-47 lead, but in the half hour both teams kept each other perfectly balanced (51-51).
In the fourth quarter, the Sea Captains made the best decisions. After Troisfontaines’ fifth error (59-57), van der Vuurst fed excellent Buysschaert and Schwartz: 68-59. Djordjevic, Schwartz, van der Vuurst, Mwema and Gillet did not relinquish that lead. It is 2-1 in West Flemish advantage. On Wednesday, Ostend will get its first chance at a tenth national title in a row in Bergen. (rpo)
OOSTENDE: (23 out of 50 of which 6 out of 17 three-pointers, 22 out of 23 free throws, 28 errors) SCHWARTZ 5-8, MWEMA 0-2, BUYSSCHAERT 0-10, DJORDJEVIC 2-2, GILLET 7-0, van der Vuurst 0-6 , Troisfontaines 7-0, Bratanovic 0-9 Nakic 6-0, Sylla 6-4.
BERGEN: (22 out of 56 of which 7 out of 26 three-pointers, 17 out of 25 free throws, 24 errors) SMITH 18-11, BARNES 2-13, SPENCER 3-6, DURHAM 3-4, CAGE 3-0, Lambot 0-0, Mintogo 0 -0, Mortant 0-0, Penava 0-0.µ
Quartz: 17-18, 16-11, 18-22, 23-17..