Jaylen Hands, the Giants' top scorer with 19 points.

Jaylen Hands, the Giants’ top scorer with 19 points. © GMAX AGENCY

Telenet Giants Antwerp is not yet certain of a place in the semi-finals of the play-offs. And so there will be a bell on Saturday. In the Lotto Arena, still, but because it is not free in the evening, the to-go will follow at… 12.00 h.

Patrick Ceulemans

The Giants requested that the game be moved to Sunday-evening, but the Pro League, for whatever reason, did not allow it. Saturday afternoon around 2 pm we will therefore know whether Telenet Giants Antwerp will advance to the semi-final against Ostend. “Recharge the batteries and focus on Saturday. We have to be ready”, said coach Luc Smout.

No David Nichols at Bergen. The American guard was excluded after the disturbance in the first match with Dennis Donkor. Nichols was given a two-game suspension and two suspensions. Seppe D’Espallier, who entered the public prosecutor’s office as a substitute during the incidents, received no additional punishment.

Despite a dubious leadership from referee Samir Krehic, who will retire after this season, the Giants dominated the first half. They owed that mainly to Matt Tiby, who propelled the team to 14-18 after the first quarter. With also Jaylen Hands, Jean-Marc Mwema and three-pointers from Quinten Smout, the Sinjoren were also boss in the second slide. After a 23-33 lead, the Sinjoren seemed to be sitting on roses. But at the end of the first half, the nonchalance crept up the ranks and the Hainaut team received a boost from referee Krehic. Bergen needed all that to come back via Marcus Tyus: 36-38. Matt Tiby made it 36-41 halfway with a bomb.

Bergen showed some resilience in the second half, but Telenet Giants Antwerp forgot to push through despite poor arbitration. That meant that the Hainaut took the lead at 56-55. In a mad end of the game, Telenet Giants Antwerp again took command: 61-63. Marcus Tyus, however, made it 64-64, so extra time.

Bergen was a little better in overtime and pushed through to win. The Giants have to put a hand in their own bosom, but can also point to the arbitration and especially to that of crew chiefSamir Krehic. After all, every dubious call was in Bergen’s favour.

“We are again looking forward to Saturday”, captain Jean-Marc Mwema accepted the facts. “In our own house we will again look for qualification for the semi-finals.”

MOUNTAINS: Neri 8, Cage 0, Mintogo 5, Mortant 9, Nzekwesi 12, Pasalic 216, Penava 2, Tyus 14, Henson 11.

TELENET GIANTS ANTWERP: Smout 6, Tiby 14, Van Den Eynde 6, N. De Ridder 4, Rogiers 3, Hands 19, Krutwig 4, Mwema 10, Donkor 7.

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