Antwerp In Gear For Wels Clash, Add Gardner

05 January 2010
The Antwerp Giants can seal a place in the Last 16 of the EuroChallenge with a victory over WBC Raiffeisen Wels on Tuesday night in Belgium.

And Antwerp will be liking their chances following the signing of Thomas Gardner for the rest of the campaign.

The 1.96m Gardner, who is in his second spell in Belgium after appearing for VOO Verviers-Pepinster in the 2006-2007 season, also had stints in the NBA with the Chicago Bulls and Atlanta Hawks, and in Russia with Lokomotiv Rostov.

He is expected to be in the line-up against Wels.

Tuesday is vital for Antwerp and Wels, who are both 2-2 in Group G behind Artland Dragons (3-1).

The Belgian outfit won their first meeting in Austria on December 1, 90-82, so a triumph at home would give them a 2-0 sweep in the series and the advantage in a tie-breaker should the sides be 3-3 after the final round of games on January 12.

As Antwerp lost both of their games against Artland, the only way for Eddy Casteels' Giants to come in first would be to finish 4-2 and for Artland to lose their last two games.

Wels, meanwhile, will not be eliminated with a defeat at Antwerp if Artland fail to beat Tartu Rock in Group G's other game on Tuesday.

That's because the Austrian outfit won the first encounter on home soil against the Dragons on December 8, 74-73.

Artland know they can't afford to be overconfident heading into their clash at Tartu Rock (1-3) in Estonia.

Ralf Rehberger, the assistant coach of Artland, said: "We have to play the whole game on defense and be consistently physically good from the start.

"If we are trailing in Tartu by 20 points, it is very difficult to catch up."


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