Dutch Title Delight For Den Bosch

29 May 2012

EiffelTowers Den Bosch - Dutch League Champions 2012
The EiffelTowers Den Bosch players and staff celebrating their Dutch League title

EiffelTowers Den Bosch fans woke up to the best feeling in the world on Monday after watching their team capture the Dutch Eredivisie championship at ZZ Leiden.

Getting 17 points from Frank Turner, 16 from Rogier Jansen and 13 from Kees Akerboom, EiffelTowers claimed a 65-61 Game 5 triumph in the play-off finals.

Akerboom also had 10 rebounds for Raoul Korner's side.

"It was an up-and-down game," Turner said.

"They controlled, we controlled.

"We'd go on an offensive run, they'd go on an offense run.

"It feels very good (to be a champion). I'm very proud of my teammates, I'm happy for Den Bosch, I'm happy to bring a championship back home.

"All the work all year, in the summer time, paid off."

Leiden have given Dutch basketball much to talk about in the past year.

They beat Gas Terra 4-3 in the 2010-11 finals and had an impressive run in this season's EuroChallenge.

They won three of their six games in the Regular Season.

Leiden, coached by Toon van Helfteren, pulled off a comeback for the ages in their second EuroChallenge Last 16 game at BK Ventspils on 17 January.

Down 45-22 early in the second half, they battled back to claim a 73-69 victory.

Van Helfteren's side won just once more in the European competition, though, and came up short of the last eight.

In the Dutch play-offs, Leiden beat Swolle 3-1 to reach the championship series while Den Bosch scraped a 3-2 series win against Groningen.

Once in the championship showdown, Den Bosch held their nerve.

After prevailing 81-79 in the opener, Den Bosch pulled away for an 85-70 victory in Game 2.

Leiden again suffered heartbreak in Game 3 with a 77-74 setback but kept their hopes alive with a 70-65 triumph in Game 4.

Den Bosch celebrated the title with a four-point win in Game 5.

Tai Wesley, one of the Den Bosch players, said: "When we started this year, we knew that we had a special team.

"All our hard work has paid off.

"We have had the necessary highs and lows and in these play-offs, three times we stood with our backs against the wall.

"But after the last victory over Groningen (in the semi-finals), we were ready for the battle with Leiden.

"Game One here (in Leiden) in the series for us was one of the deciding factors."

As for Sunday's Game Five, Wesley said: " I did not play very well, but Smith and Turner were amazing. "

Dutchman Stefan Wessels says the key for Den Bosch was their ability to dig deep in the series against Groningen when the club had a depleted line-up but still managed to win.

"The victory at Groningen in the fourth game when we played with six men," he said.

"That was a victory that gave us so much strength."




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