|Benjamin Simons led the Giants with 18 points, making five of his seven field goal attempts|
Port of Antwerp Giants led from start to finish as they opened Group I play in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge with a comfortable 97-79 win over Gaz Metan Medias.
Benjamin Simons scored 18 points to lead five Giants scoring in double figures as they fell just shy of the century mark.
The Giants edged in front early on and then used an 8-0 run which spanned the first and second quarters to take a 31-19 lead on Ryan Pearson's lay-up.
It was as much as Medias could do to get the lead back into single figures and keep it there in the lead-up to half-time, but the Giants established total control in the second half.
Medias were held to four points in the opening five and a half minutes of the period, with Jean-Marc Mwema's three putting the Giants up 57-40.
Two free throws from Marko Spica saw the lead move past 20, 65-44.
It would max out at 26 when a three from Simons made it 85-59 with 5:58 to play.
Barry Stewart finished with 15 points for the Giants, while Pearson and Mwema added 13 each and Maxime De Zeeuw 10 with nine rebounds.
Slavisa Bogavac led the resistance with 21 points while Radomir Marojevic had 20, with Kyle Shiloh collecting 15 with six boards and five assists.
PO Antwerp Head Coach Paul Vervaeck
"We jumped off to a good start. That was important and led us to a bonus. We also had a lot of assists - a sign that the collective was good."
PO Antwerp Player Benjamin Simons
"We had 26 assists. That says a lot about our collective game. A deserved victory that came at the right time."
Gaz Metan Head Coach Marcel Tenter
"Congratulations to the Antwerp team. Our defence was too weak. They deserved the win. However, we have personnel problems with several players injured. That hurts."
Gaz Metan Player Slavisa Bogavac
"Our defence was bad. But, Antwerp Giants were just too strong tonight. We are too short on players and that hurts."