To get the brand new BNXT League season off to a good start, a first classic is on the program with the BNXT Supercup tonight (8 p.m.), which brings a clash in the Maasport ‘s Hertogenbosch (Netherlands) between the Belgian champions Ostend and the Dutch title defender ZZ Leiden.
For this first edition, the champion of the Dutch Basketball League ZZ Leiden will compete against the Belgian champion (EuroMillions League) Ostend. The coastal team was busy last week in the Viking Lotto Cup in Vilnius, Lithuania. After a win against Lietkabelis (Lithuania) and a defeat against the Latvian VEF Riga, coach Dario Gjergja’s team won the match for third place 106-66 against the Swedish Nörkoping.
Ostend returned from Vilnius on Friday and immediately went to a hotel in ‘s Hertogenbosch where preparations for the BNXT Supercup started.
Four new players
Ostend, the record champion in Belgium with 22 titles, will be looking for an eleventh consecutive title with four new players next season. The Coastal Team presents a trio of Americans, Levi Randolph, Phil Booth and Brandon McCoy and the Finnish international Mikael Jantunen
ZZ Leiden, which in the recent past worked with Belgian coaches Paul Vervaeck and Eddy Casteels, became champion in the Dutch Basketball League four times. The team of coach Geert Hammink practiced twice against a Belgian team in the preparation. Against Spirou Charleroi they won 56-93 and lost to Kangaroos Mechelen 90-85. The last practice pot brought an 81-85 victory against Landstede Hammers Zwolle.
Unlike Belgian champion Ostend, ZZ Leiden is not yet sure of a place in the main draw of the Champions League. The Dutch champion has to complete a preliminary round. The first opponent is already Monday. In the Italian Treviso, Leiden will compete against Belgian vice-champion Bergen. The winner advances to the second qualifying round of the Champions League, the loser is caught in the FIBA Europe Cup and ends up in a group including Antwerp Giants.