BC Oostende had their hearts broken on opening night of the FIBA Europe League, going down by 1-point to French outfit Le Havre (70:71), despite leading by as much as 20-points during the contest.
Le Havre coach Eric Girard described the victory as "robbery" after guard Aymeric Jeanneau hit the winning basket with just 4 seconds on the clock.
Everything looked rosy for Oostende in the first half, as Christophe Begin (18 points in the first 2 quarters) and Tony Dorsey (9 points and 5 assists) took control of the game for the home side.
A 10-4 run in the first quarter was extended to 38-25 by the second, in which the Oostende defense limited Le Havre to just 5 points.
New Zealand point guard Mark Dickel hit a 3-pointer for Oostende just after halftime, to extend his team's lead to 20, but it proved to be the beginning of the end for the Belgians.
From that point on, Oostende were not able to bring their game together as Le Havre gradually worked their way back into the contest. Dickel was guilty of missing 3 consecutive shots and center Joey Beard fouled out, further limiting their offense.
The final second heroics were left to 1.85m guard Jeanneau. He scored just 4 points in 30 minutes on the court but 2 of them were enough to complete the "robbery" and gift his team the 1-point victory.
Beghin finished with 26 points to lead all scorers and Dorsey added 20 for Oostende.
Le Havre got 17 points from guard Jermaine Guice and 16 from center Patrick Durham.
Eric Girard, Head Coach, STB Le Havre:
"This is a robbery. In our first European game, all players were stressed at the tip-off and things got worse being led by 20 points at some time in the second half. If then you win the game by one point, you have realised a robbery. Ostende, whom I estimate at their value, maybe made the error of letting things flow once they got a big lead."
Julien Doreau, STB Le Havre:
"We fought our way back with our heart and with courrage. If you are lead by 20 points, that is the only way one can react."
Eddy Casteels, Head Coach, BC Oostende:
"If you are up by 20 points like we were today, you have to continue and go for a win by 40 points. You will not get a same opportunity twice against a team of the quality of Le Havre. I regret this loss for some of my players who have showed a great will for victory this evening, but ended being dissapointed."
Christophe Beghin, BC Oostende:
"At half time we were in controll of the game. In the second half however we fell back into some bad habits we had last season, everybody playing for his own interest. Tonight you saw how this gets punished at this level."