BASKETBALL IN EUROPE
|Matt Lojeski was the most efficient player for Oostende in the finals|
Telenet Oostende completed a 3-0 sweep of Belfius Mons-Hainaut on Wednesday night to successfully defend their Belgian Ethias League title and conquer the 14th league trophy in their history.
The champions are still the second-most decorated club in Belgian league history but have now edged within one title of the now defunct club RC Malines, which had collected 15 championships.
While Oostende have won back-to-back league titles several times in their history, this season marks the first time since 2001 that they conquer the league and cup double, as they had picked up their 13th Belgian Cup trophy in April.
Oostende entered the fourth quarter of Game 3 of the play-off finals at home trailing Mons 45-43, and were still playing catch-up with just over four minutes remaining to the final buzzer, as their guests were leading 50-47.
That was when Dusan Djordjevic decided to take matters into his own hands.
The Serbian guard sliced the Mons defence to make a lay-up and then hit a three-pointer to give Oostende the lead, 54-52.
Djordjevic scored 12 of his team-high 16 points in that final four-minute stretch to propel the hosts to a 68-63 win which gave them the title, and added two rebounds and two assists.
Shooting guard Matt Lojeski finished with 13 points, seven rebounds and five assists for Oostende, while Wes Wilkinson had 10 points and four rebounds.
The 27-year-old Lojeski, who has been playing in Belgium since the start of his professional career in 2007, was recently granted Belgian citizenship and should be eligible to play for the national team in the near future.
The American-born guard was the most valuable player for Oostende in the finals series in terms of efficiency, with Djordjevic a close second.
The Belgian champions had demolished Mons 88-57 in Game 1, also in Ostend, and then prevailed 81-70 in the second game of the series, on the road.
They reached the title series after defeating Okapi Aalstar 3-1 in the play-off semi-finals, there they had advanced directly by virtue of finishing in first place in the Regular Season standings with a 20-8 record.