Belgium: Dexia Look To The Evans

02 June 2006
By Ben Collins, PA Sport

Dexia Mons-Hainaut coach Niksa Bavcevic is hoping he can get star player George Evans back on his game in the second game of the Belgian league finals on Saturday.

The American forward averaged 14.6 points per game as Dexia made the last eight of this season's EuroCup and was named the Belgian league's MVP.

George Evans (Dexia Mons-Hainaut)
George Evans is averaging a Belgian league high 18.7 ppg.
He averages a league-high 18.7 points per game but was held to just 11 on Wednesday as Telindus Oostende won 94-76 to take the initiative in the best-of-five series.

"They put extra pressure on George - sometimes triple-teaming him," Bavcevic told PA Sport.

"That's logical after the way he's played this season, but we - and he - didn't respond to it.

"Sometimes he kept the ball too long, and we're known as a great shooting team but didn't shoot to the level we're used to.

"But we've made a few adjustments this week and we hope they work so we can get a win in front of our own supporters."

Dexia made it through to the finals after an unusual semi-final series with Euphony Bree.

The away team won each game with Dexia winning the decisive third game 91-76 in Bree.

"It doesn't happen very often and it was a great effort from both teams," said Bavcevic.

"Our defense wasn't great at home (in Game Two) so we adjusted certain things, made changes in offense and defense and our rebounding was very good.

"They (Bree) said after the second game it was their best game of the season so they weren't expected to repeat that, and we took our chance."

Oostende are 10-time Belgian champions and topped the league after the regular season so Bavcevic is well aware of the threat they pose as Dexia aim to clinch their first-ever title success.

"They're probably the best team and they have some talented players," said the Croatian coach.

"Toby Bailey (who had a game-high 21 points in Game One) used to play in the NBA, Mirza Teletovic has already signed for Tau Ceramica, Elvir Ovcina starts for Bosnia-Herzegovina and Denis Wucherer starts for Germany.

"Again they had their game of the season and they had some great shooting.

"They haven't played in a European cup this season either so we've played 19 games more than them and that was visible.

"Fatigue is a small excuse but in a final there's no excuse - we'll be ready."

After Saturday's contest the series goes back to Oostende for Game Three on Wednesday.



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