Thriller between Mechelen and Leuven, while Oostende cruise to final
Leuven Bears was in a good form lately and went into the semi final of the playoffs after beating Spirou Charleroi 2-1. In the regular season Mechelen and Leuven both won their home games.
In the first game in Mechelen the home team took a 40-37 lead at half time. Leuven immediately accelerated away after halftime taking a 11-point lead. Mechelen could not overcome this in Q4 and lost their first home game 63-72.
Leuven now had home court advantage, but completely collapsed in game 2. Mechelen didn’t even play their best, but Leuven just did not show up. After losing Q1 10-30, the game was basically already finished.
In the second half Leuven performed even worse, only scoring 14 points. Mechelen tied the series with this blowout 40-86 win.
In the third game of the series, we finally had a close game on our hands. From the end of Q1 Mechelen took a small lead, but Leuven kept it close until deep into Q3.
In Q4 Mechelen took a 64-52 lead, but Leuven were able to bounce back once again. They placed a 2-12 run and even took the lead in the final minute. Kangoeroes Mechelen scored the last 5 points though to win this 3rd game 78-75.
In game 4 Leuven had to perform better than in their previous home game, and they did. Mechelen took a 6-15 lead, but this was the biggest lead of the whole game.
In the second half, the game was tied 8 times, and it came to no surprise that the game ended 66-66 when Leuven scored the final 2-pointer to save themselves. Overtime was needed, and not just only 5 minutes.
In the first overtime Mechelen took a 7-point lead, but they blew this, and the game was tied again at 80-80. In the second half of overtime, Mechelen seemed tired and by the hand of Solomon Young, Leuven pushed through to win the game 95-86. Young had a double-double scoring 31 and having 13 rebounds.
But the guys of #EddyCasteels showed up with a real winner's mentality and Solomon Young exploded with 31 pts, 13 rebs & 3 blocks! @leuvenbears pic.twitter.com/MwoOQOcgPx
— BNXTLeague (@BnxtLeague) May 16, 2022
In the deciding game 5 Leuven started more aggressive and they won Q1 15-20.
In Q2 Mechelen were the better team and by the end of Q3 there was only 1 point difference before going into the deciding quarter. At 71-69 it was extremely close, but then Mechelen were able to hit 2 shots and an and-1 to conclude the game 77-69. Myles Stephens played the whole game and finished with a double-double.
Filou Oostende played against the number 4 seed Belfius Mons-Hainaut. Oostende were the favourite in this series.
In the first game Mons never took the lead and were already trailing by 19 points at half time. Oostende won this game 84-66.
In the second game Mons showed more resistance. They took a small 34-31 lead at halftime, but this was the only lead they would have during the whole series. Oostende showed their quality in the second half and also won this game easily 63-78.
Mons seemed to have lost all confidence for the third game, which resulted in a blowout loss of 90-48.
Oostende will be the favourite to claim the Belgian title as Mechelen had a much more difficult series to overcome.
Easy series for Leiden and Den Bosch in Netherlands
Leiden and Den Bosch were the only Dutch teams that seemed to be able to keep up with the level of teams as Oostende and Mechelen. Therefore, it was expected that both Leiden and Den Bosch would reach the final in Netherlands.
Leiden played against Landstede Hammers from Zwolle. In December they lost their home game to Landstede with a 13 point difference, however after that Zwolle didn’t win a single game in the second phase.
In game 1 Jonathon Dunn scored 29 points for Leiden. Landstede didn’t stand a chance and Leiden had the lead from the start and went on to win 91-79.
In the second game Landstede could only keep up until half time, but from the score at 59-58, Leiden placed a deciding 0-11 run. Dunn scored 25 points in this game and Leiden won 79-89.
The final game of the series was the most tightest, although at half time Leiden had a 41-30 lead. Landstede played a strong Q3, but gave their 1-point lead away when Leiden had a 15-2 run. Landstede came back, but it was too late and Leiden won 71-69, concluding the series 3-0.
Den Bosch faced Donar. A few seasons ago Donar were the dominant force in the Netherlands, but the roles have switched around and Heroes Den Bosch became the favourite for this series. In the regular season they won both games against Donar.
After a 13-0 run in Q1, Donar managed to claw it back to 30-30 during Q2. Unfortunately for them, this was the closest they would get. Den Bosch maintained a lead hovering around 5-10 points throughout the whole game, winning 77-65.
🏀🔥 | Let's enjoy this one more time! 🍿
Geniet nog één keer van de highlights vs. Donar van gisteren. Hierna gaat de focus op de finale om het landskampioenschap! 💪
Bij zijn? (retorische vraag)
👉 Morgen om 12:00u start de kaartverkoop voor Game 2! 🎟️
𝐁𝐄 𝐑𝐄𝐀𝐃𝐘! 💥 pic.twitter.com/n80WPHbt0b
— Heroes Den Bosch 🏀 (@HeroesDenBosch) May 15, 2022
The second game showed a similar pattern. Den Bosch were the better side and from the end of Q1 they always had a lead between 5 and 15 points. Donar came back, but lost the game 67-73.
In the final game of the series Donar was not able to make any adjustments and again we saw a similar match. They stayed closer than in the previous 2 games, but Den Bosch kept they lead from Q2 onwards. Resulting in a 81-72 and 3-0 series win for Den Bosch.