Belgium: Dexia Look To Prolong Series

06 June 2006

By Ben Collins, PA Sport

Dexia Mons-Hainaut coach Niksa Bavcevic could do with a holiday but knows his team will be doing their utmost to make him wait a little bit longer.

Dexia hit the road to face Telindus Oostende in Game Three of the Belgian league play-off finals on Wednesday.

That will be the 62nd game of a gruelling season for Dexia, having reached the quarter-finals of the EuroCup and lifted the Belgian Cup in April.

Omar Cook (Dexia Mons-Hainaut)
Omar Cook scored 19 points in Game 2.
Trailing 2-0 in the best-of-five series, many expect it to be their last, but Bavcevic is confident his players will give it their all to prolong the series against all the odds.

"The easiest thing to do would be to surrender and go on holiday," he told PA Sport.

"But knowing my team, we will not do that.

"We know they have a big advantage on their home court and everybody in Belgian basketball is convinced it's the end.

"But we were in the same situation against Euphony Bree in the semi finals (when Dexia won on the road to make the finals). I'm not saying we're going to win but we're certainly going there to try.

"I hope that we can take it to a fourth game because then we're practically back to where we started, but we won't underestimate anybody, especially Oostende."

Dexia were on their home court in Game Two on Saturday but failed to level the series as they suffered an agonising 80-78 defeat.

The league's MVP George Evans was back on form with a team-high 20 points for Dexia, with support from Omar Cook (19) as they fought back from a 27-17 deficit after the first quarter.

The scores were tied at 75-75 with 35 seconds remaining and Oostende clinched it at the death, having had a game-high 23 points from Veselin Petrovic and 15 from Sam Van Rossom.

"It was a close game, a real play-off game," said Bavcevic. "We had a terrific crowd and everything was perfect - except for the result.

"We made one or two mistakes late on and there were some bad refereeing decisions that went against us.

"They had great games from Petrovic and Van Rossom but everything was decided in the last 35 seconds.

"If it went in our favour, I don't think anybody in their camp could have complained."

If Bavcevic's holiday plans are put on hold, then Game Four will be played in Mons on Saturday.


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