BC Oostende Are Belgian Champions

10 June 2012

9. Matthew Lojeski (BC Oostende)
Ice-cold Matthew Lojeski made the title-clinching shot with 23 seconds on the clock in overtime in Game 5

BC Telenet Oostende's Matt Lojeski hit a go-ahead three-pointer with 23 seconds remaining in overtime and Dario Gjergia's team then held on to beat Spirou Charleroi in the deciding fifth game of the Belgian Ethias League finals.

After Lojeski, who had a team-high 18 points and 10 rebounds, put his team in the driving seat, Oostende caught a break with eight seconds remaining as Charleroi's Justin Hamilton missed two free-throws.

Oostende rebounded and celebrated a 75-74 win for the 13th league crown in club history.

It marked the first time a title decider had gone to overtime.

Oostende will now have an opportunity to play in the Turkish Airlines Euroleague Qualifying Round and if they fail to reach the regular season of that competition, the team will have an automatic place in the Eurocup.

Game 5 was played before a sellout crowd at the Sleuyter Arena in Oostende, the venue for the 2011 EuroChallenge Final Four.

Giovanni Bozzi's side had been going after a fifth straight title but came up short.

Jacques Stas, the Charleroi club manager, said: "Nobody will be able to throw stones.

"We really go out with our heads held high in this final.

"We even had a lot of opportunities to retain our title.

"Every series has an end and we must draw conclusions after a good season in which we played in Europe and we finished runners-up (in Belgium)."

Charleroi had won the opening game, 80-69, but then lost the next two to Oostende, 72-68 and 82-79.

Bozzi's team kept the series alive with a 70-65 Game 4 triumph, but in a thrilling conclusion, Lojeski and Oostende had the final say.

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