Domien Loubry blasts Kangaroos Mechelen to victory: first final in sight for Mechelen

© BELGA

BetFirst BNXT Playoffs (Semifinals)

Kangaroos Mechelen won the third game of the semi-finals of the play-offs after a real nail biter with 78-75. The Mechelen are ahead 2-1 in this best of five. If they win on Monday in the Leuven Sportoase, Kangaroos will be placed for a very first final in club history. In case of loss, a fifth game will follow next Wednesday in the Winketkaai in Mechelen, the fifth and deciding game. “We get two chances. It’s up to us to cash in on that from Monday,” said star Domien Loubry with 10 points and 9 assists.

Patrick Ceulemans

Both teams started nervously and with a 4-2 score in favor of Kangaroos Mechelen, Myles Stephens remained on the ground after an unfortunate contact with Jacob Cebasek and grabbed the right shin. The American forward of the Maneblussers was able to continue but quickly ran into his second mistake. Leuven Bears took advantage of a 7-9 bonus, but through Jonas Foerts and Mattias Palinckx, who came in well, it went to 16-11 for the Kangaroos. The Bears reacted in turn with a 0-7 (16-17) and closed the first quarter and after a bomb by Nick McGlynn with a score of 21-22.

Leuven Bears, however, remained extremely sterile in offense. Not only the merit of the Mechelen defence. After all, the team from Leuven missed many open shots and had only scored 1 point after 6 minutes and 30 seconds in the second quarter (free throw by Kevaughn Allen). Kangaroos Mechelen also found it difficult to score and could therefore not take advantage: 26-25. Domien Loubry found AJ Brodeur at the end of the second slide and it went to a 32-28. Leuven Bears only scored with free throws in the second quarter and Domien Loubry put the 38-31 bonus in favor of Kangaroos Mechelen on the buzzer.

Solomon Young broke loose at Leuven Bears, scored 2 bombs and Kevaughn Allen also dropped a three-pointer. Leuven Bears looked for and found the connection at the beginning of the third slide and in a match with a lot of intensity: 49-46. Wouter Willems had meanwhile been injured at Leuven Bears and Domien Loubry sprinkled assists at Kangaroos Mechelen. Jonas Foerts closed the third quarter with a three-pointer: 56-49 in favor of the Mechelen.Kangaroos Mechelen continued their momentum and ran away with bombs from Luka Kotrulja and Jonas Foerts to 61-49. Leuven Bears faltered, but pulled out again with a remonte. Jakob Cebasek fired three-pointers and the connection was a fact at 67-63. Domien Loubry with a score and a sweet assist set the Winketkaai on fire: 71-63 for Kangaroos. Leuven Bears was not yet finished. Romain Boxus, Nick McGlynn and Joshua Heath made it 73-71 with 1 minute and 30 seconds left on the clock. Jakob Cebasek took care of 73-75 with 30 seconds from the end and the first Leuven lead after 20-22! At 20 seconds from the end, Domien Loubry dropped an important three-pointer: 76-75 for Kangaroos. On the throw-in by Leuven Bears, an offensive foul by Shizz Alston was not called. The same Alston recorded the 78-75 in favor of Kangaroos Mechelen with free throws.

© BELGA

Kangaroos Mechelen-Leuven Bears 78-75

KANGAROO MECHELEN: Stephens 7, Loubry 10, Van Buggenhout 0, Kotrulja 5, Mennes 3, Alston 11, Foerts 16, Palinckx 14, Brodeur 10, Waleson 2

LEUVEN BEARS: Willems 2, Heath 11, Allen 15, Boxus 2, Cebasek 17, Vanderhaegen 3, McGlynn 8, Young 17, Nunes e Santos Cruz 0

QUARTZ: 20-22, 18-11, 18-18, 22-26

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