|William Thomas led Oostende to victory over Lokomotiv, shooting 11 of 14 from the field for a game-high 26 points|
BC Oostende coach Jean-Marc Jaumin couldn't be any prouder of his players right now.
One of three Belgian sides still alive in the EuroChallenge, Oostende improved to 2-0 in the Last 16 with an 80-71 victory over Lokomotiv Kuban.
Oostende's William Thomas had a great game offensively, making 11 of 14 shots from the floor en route to a game-high 26 points, and received a lot of praise after the performance.
But Jaumin stressed: "This strong individual performance is the result of the collective."
Everyone, the coach says, stepped up.
Shooting guard Quentin Serron, for example, provided 11 solid minutes off the bench with the team's leading scorer, Matt Lojeski, in foul trouble.
Lojeski picked up three fouls in the first 12 minutes of the contest and ended up playing just over half the game and scoring a season-low three points before fouling out.
Marcus Faison wasn't a factor offensively yet did a good job on defense, coming up with two steals.
"I'm very proud on what my team showed," Jaumin said.
The turning point for Oostende against Lokomotiv occurred after Jaumin spoke to his players between the third and fourth quarters with his team trailing by a point.
"When we were losing 58-57 to Kuban, I asked my players to be more aggressive," Juamin said.
"They did this almost immediately and it resulted in the decisive 9-0 spurt."
Indeed it did because after a Lokomotiv basket to start the fourth quarter, Oostende reeled off nine unanswered points.
Oostende will try to go 3-0 in Group L when they travel to Croatia next week and take on BC Zadar (1-1).
In Mons, meanwhile, an all-Belgian battle was waged between Dexia Mons-Hainaut and Antwerp Giants.
|Timothy Black came up with a season high 34 points on Tuesday, but Antwerp lost the all-Belgian Group J battle|
Dexia fans saw their side win the Group J game 77-73 despite a 34-point game by Antwerp's Timothy Black.
The sight of one Dexia player on the floor, Justin Cage, was maybe the biggest cause to celebrate for the home supporters.
Workhorse Cage had been out of action with pneumonia but is better now and gradually getting his strength back.
"I felt a little winded at the end, but it felt good to get out and play," Cage said.
"I'm not 100% yet but the more I play, the better I'll start feeling."
Cage said there is nothing easy for teams when they go up against league rivals in European competition.
"It's tough playing a team in your league so many times," the 25-year-old said.
"You play them in the EuroChallenge, the league and you might play them in the Belgium Cup.
"You know everybody, what they can do.
"They had a couple of injuries but they're a fighting team.
"When (Timothy) Black got hot, there's nothing you can really do but try to make it tough on him.
"At points, I think we did a good job but I think we could have done a better job."
Black hit six of nine shots from the three-point line and 12 of 17 from the floor overall.
Next up for Dexia is a game against league giants Charleroi at home and then comes a trip to Turkey to face Pinar Karsiyaka, who are 2-0 in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge.
"We're not scared of anybody," Cage said.
"Why should we be?
"But we have to execute and play at a high level in order to beat these teams."
The Calming Influence Of Jackson
Maccabi Haifa, meanwhile, look to be a much better team following the arrival of Jermaine Jackson.
With Marco Killingsworth grabbing most of the headlines after their EuroChallenge triumph over fellow Israelis Barak Netanya and rightly so after scoring 13 of his 21 points in the fourth quarter, the 34-year-old Jackson played 35 minutes and had six assists, four rebounds and a steal to go with his seven points.
"Jermaine calms us down," Haifa's Robert Rothbart said, "and this is exactly what we needed."
Haifa are 1-1 in the Last 16 while Netanya are 2-2.