If Filou Ostend wins at home against Legia Warsaw on Tuesday evening, it will count two victories more than the Polish vice-national champions. Afterwards, there are still two match days left in the pouke phase of the Champions League. The qualification chances for the play-ins can therefore take a solid leap.
Ostend is one of the five clubs that are already allowed to participate in all (seven) editions of the Champions League. The other fixed values are AEK Athens, Tenerife, Nymburk and Strasbourg. The people of Ostend have already survived the group stage two of the six times. “That is also our intention now”, confirms Pierre-Antoine Gillet. “It is very important for everyone in the club that we gain as much European experience as possible.”
In this campaign, his 42nd at the European forum, Ostend first lost at home to Galatasaray Istanbul. On the second day of play, the red-yellows suffered a narrow and partly undeserved defeat at Hapoel Holon (Israel). It was immediately clear that the third and fourth match day could again be decisive. Filou Ostend and Legia Warsaw had lost their first two matches. The third in each group still qualifies for the play-ins, for the fourth the European season is over by Christmas.
“Last season we also won twice against Kalev Tallinn on the third and fourth matchday. That’s how we opened the door to the play-ins. So we want to repeat that now. The 59-68 victory last month in Warsaw is already a good first step. We know that our team can achieve something at the moments that matter,” said Gillet, captain during Djordjevic’s injury period. “A second win against Legia Warschgau means a big step towards Champions League basket in January.”
It remains to be seen whether Ostend can firmly dominate the rebound duels. Ostend picked on average the most defensive rebounds (30.3) of the 32 teams, Warsaw the least offensive (6.7). Warsaw has already lost three times, but the Polish team was in the lead every time at the start of the fourth quarter.
Heath, Samaey and students
Filou Ostend receives special support for this important competition. The team that won the first national title for Sunair Oostende in 1981 will be present in the COREtec Dôme. Jon Heath, Rik Samaey and their teammates can also cherish the trophy from back then. From Ghent, sponsor Kasteelbier brings one hundred and fifty students from the Overpoortstraat to the coast for extra vocal support. Sport 10 will broadcast the Ostend-Warsaw duel via Proximus, Telenet and TV Vlaanderen live from 8 p.m.