|Ronell Taylor was Dexia's leading scorer in the final with 16 points on 55% shooting from the floor|
Dreams of a Belgian Cup and EuroChallenge double won't be realized this week by BC Oostende after the club endured a narrow defeat in the Belgian Cup Final on Sunday to Dexia Mons-Hainaut.
Jean-Marc Jaumin's team fell 68-66 to Dexia, with Quincy Ronell Taylor's shot 14 seconds from the end the game-winner for Arik Shivek's side.
Mons had hoped to be playing at the EuroChallenge Final Four as well this season but they failed to progress from the Last 16.
Now they are assured of at least one title this season and it could not have been achieved in more dramatic fashion.
Trailing 61-54 midway through the last frame, Mons clawed their way back with Justin Cage hitting a couple of key late baskets.
Shivek's team ended up with possession 32 seconds from the end and the game knotted at 66-66.
Coming out of a timeout, Mons put the ball in the hands Taylor and he backed up Darrell Mitchell before spinning, launching a shot over Oostende big man Will Thomas and burying it.
Oostende called a timeout and with 14 seconds to go.
When play resumed, Mitchell brought the ball up the floor, penetrated into the lane and tried to pass to Thomas but Dexia batted the ball away.
Mitchell managed to collect it under the basket and passed to Thomas who went up strong but drew a foul.
Thomas then missed both free-throws, the second one intentionally, and time expired as the ball went out of bounds.
But the referees ruled there was still a second on the clock and that the ball had last touched a Mons player, so Jaumin drew up a final play during a timeout that almost saw his team force overtime.
Marcus Faison delivered a perfect inbounds pass from the right side of the baseline to Matt Lojeski and he caught it with both hands and released it in time over Ahmad Nivins.
The ball, though, hit off the backboard and rim and stayed out and Dexia's Peter Van Paassen got the rebound as the buzzer sounded.
Jaumin looked on from the sideline and fell to knees in disappointment while Dexia's blue-clad supporters in the Antwerp arena piled onto the court and celebrated a famous win.
"It was a great game, great atmosphere," Taylor said.
"You knew it was going to be tough game before it even started because the crowd was all in it for both teams.
"And Oostende are a great team, so we knew it was going to be a fight."
Taylor finished with 16 points, four rebounds and a couple of steals.
His most important contribution came with the game-winning shot.
"I just wanted to take the initiative, go out there and put the team on my back," he said.
"Anyone (of us) could have won the game and luckily it was me.
"I was feeling it a little bit so, I put the shot up and it went in, so, we'll take it."
Oostende lost, despite getting 16 points from Lojeski.
Ben Ebong, a long-time Dexia player who joined Oostende this season, had eight of his team's 37 rebounds and added four points for Oostende while Caleb Green grabbed a game-high nine boards.
However Green, one of the Oostende long-range marksmen, missed all three of his shots from long range and finished with four points.
It was a painful defeat for Oostende, especially because of turnovers in the last minutes of the contest that Dexia capitalized on.
"We had the game fully in our grasp and yet we let the Cup slip out of our hands," said Oostende center Tomas Van Den Spiegel, who only played briefly at the end due to a back problem.
"It was indeed a fatal final five minutes. But we can't say that Dexia didn't deserve to win."
Oostende will try to regroup and win their EuroChallenge Final Four Semi-Final on Friday against KRKA Novo Mesto.
The Belgian club is hosting the event.
Mons In The Clouds
The team from Mons may not have tasted European glory this year but there is no group of players or fans in the country happier right now.
"This was a typical final with many ups and downs for both teams," Shivek said.
"Fortunately, we had a great up at the end.
"I am very happy, because I had said before the season that this year we finally had to go for a trophy."
Netherlands national team center Van Paassen was elated.
"This was a fantastic final, a great game," he said.
"It was a close game.
"I think we deserved a victory, but many congratulations to Oostende, who have a team that keeps fighting.
"Oostende indeed turned the ball over a few times (late), but maybe that's typical pressure of such a finale."
Meanwhile, it's been an eventful time of late for Taylor.
The native of the US state of Alabama also recently became a father.
"I've got a new baby and a Cup, so 2011 has started out good for me," he said.