Oostende defeat Leiden in straight shootout for top spot
It was an exciting weekend in the BNXT League, with leaders Oostende playing second-placed Leiden and teams placed third and fourth battling each other.
Oostende’s win over Feyenoord was far more convincing than their performance this week, but they rallied to get the win over Leiden. Oostende were dominant early on, taking an 11-2 lead and doing their best to not look back. They finished the first quarter with a 21-13 lead.
Leiden emerged for the second quarter with a new offensive plan, scoring 23 points. Oostende battled hard to keep ahead in the points, even if the margin was shrinking. Their pace in attack was too difficult for Leiden; both teams went into half-time with the score at 53-36.
The second half was mature from the league leaders, who extended their lead by four points and remained determined to keep the fourth quarter a formality. There was a late rally for the chasers, who cut the final score the 78-70, but the damage was done in the first half.
Another win! 🤩
Op naar woensdag voor de thuiswedstrijd tegen Landstede Hammers om 20u30. 💪🏽
— FILOU Oostende (@FILOU_Oostende) March 27, 2022
Phil Booth and Levi Randolph were the stand-out performers for Oostende, each scoring 16 points.
Kangoeroes crush Heroes in Q4
Fourth-placed Kangoeroes Mechelen also remain undefeated in this second phase of the season.
In their game with Heroes den Bosch, the first quarter started poorly, with both teams shooting low percentages. Mechelen only managed a FG% of 35%; Den Bosch managing 46% – winning the first quarter 15-17.
Heroes adapted in the second quarter to emphasise their three-point shooting, but their execution was again lacking. Kangoeroes won out the second quarter and headed into half-time with a narrow 40-38 lead.
The game continued in the same pattern in Q3, with a number of lead changes and both teams appearing to match each other physically. In the final quarter, Kangoeroes went on a 12-4 run, taking a double-digit lead for the first time in the game. They didn’t look back. Kangoeroes’ Wen Mukubu was especially influential: he finished with 26 points, five rebounds, three assists, and a FG% of 82%. He rightfully was awarded MVP.
— BNXTLeague (@BnxtLeague) March 28, 2022
Antwerp and Donar play out overtime thriller
For the first time in this second phase, we saw a game that needed overtime to decide the winner. In fact, we needed double overtime – the full 10 minutes – to see who would win in Antwerp.
The hosts clearly dominated the first half. Donar started the game well with a 2-8 run, but by the end of the quarter, they were looking at a deficit of nine points. Antwerp’s high two-point scoring percentage was a critical factor: they shot 89% in the first quarter from within the arc. In fact, Q2 played out in the same vein, with Antwerp taking a 44-33 lead into half-time.
— Donar (@Donar_Official) March 27, 2022
Donar upped the pressure in the second half, and opted to reduce the deficit by going for it from three. They went 7/24 in the second half, where the hosts went just 1/7. The deficit was accordingly reduced to a score of 73-73 at the end of regulation.
During the first five minutes of OT, there were seven lead changes and not much to separate the two teams – ending 84-84. In the end, Austin Luke made the difference, sinking the deciding three-pointer with just 33 seconds to go, sealing a huge win for Donar. Luke was decisive all game, picking up a double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.