Jean-Marc Jaumin: “The thinned core means that we mainly lack body, while that is precisely where the strength of Okapi lies.”
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Basketball BNXT League Circus Brussels – Okapi Aalst

Jean-Marc Jaumin: “The thinned core means that we mainly lack body, while that is precisely where the strength of Okapi lies.” © kms

Neder-Over-Heembeek

After a stunt victory in the opening match of the season, things went completely wrong for Brussels. Coach Jean-Marc Jaumin will host his former team Okapi Aalst on Saturday, but the Brussels resident who has moved to Bruges is saddled with a series of problems.

William Redant

Jean-Marc Jaumin realizes that the arrival of Okapi Aalst will not be a soft-boiled egg. The Ajuinen climbed to a shared leadership position after four consecutive victories, while Brussels ended up in a sporting crisis after six consecutive defeats, accompanied by all kinds of setbacks.

“Aalst is brimming with confidence,” says Jaumin. “Ivan Maras is having his best season ever, while Nikola Popovic is finishing sharper and sharper. Jordan Walker integrated smoothly and is a guard that you should not give a safe conduct. Dorian Marchant received a lot of confidence from coach Thomas Crab and now pays back that double and thick. In addition to those four established values, the youngsters from Aalst also come to the fore. This is how Glenn Temmerman developed fantastically. As coach of the U18 national team, I had him under my wing and I can assure you that he is someone who can still enjoy Belgian basketball.”

Brussels lamentation

The hymn of praise to Okapi Aalst is contrasted with a Brussels lament. “I don’t know how best to describe it. The Ten Plagues of Egypt, perhaps?” says Jaumin. “We recovered Ferdi Zylka, but he is apparently stuck with the after-effects of a covid infection and is basically playing at 50 percent of his ability. Domagoj Proleta then contracted a bacterial lung infection. Our Croatian center has to take it easy for ten days. Terry Deroover also had to skip a training session after a fever attack. However, our injuries never result from overloading during training. For example, Joël Ekamba dislocated a finger after a voluntary error. The thinned core means that we mainly lack body, while that is precisely where the strength of Okapi lies with the double meters of Maras and Popovic.”

The problem with the training facilities now seems to be resolved after Jaumin rang the bell for the cat. “The negotiations bore fruit, because the city council promised us extra training hours in Neder-Over-Heembeek. Unfortunately, I now have other cats to scourge with the injury concerns, which are the result of bad luck,” concludes Jaumin.

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