|Maxime De Zeeuw topped scoring for the Giants with 26 points|
Maxime De Zeeuw rose taller than his fellow Giants to knock down 25 points and carry his team to a 77-72 win over EuroChallenge Group A rivals SPM Shoeters Den Bosch.
In what has turned out to be one of the most hotly contested groups in the Regular Season, 26-year-old De Zeeuw has been a consistent standout and that emerged again on Tuesday when it was required of him.
His 25 points on 7-for-10 shooting paced Port Of Antwerp Giants, who, despite the close proximity of their opponents at the final buzzer, led the game from early in the second quarter when a De Zeeuw lay-up on the fast break put his team up 20-18.
It was a frustrating night for the Shoeters who continually fought back, from as much as 15 points down, only for the Giants to swat them away once more.
Their final surge came with 21 seconds to play when David Gonzalvez made a three-pointer to bring the visitors within two, 74-72. However, trips to the charity stripe in the final plays granted Antwerp breathing space.
De Zeeuw's effort was accompanied by 17 points from Frank Turner and 12 from Marko Spica.
Tai Wesley was the top billing for the guests with 21 points.
Port of Antwerp Giants Player Marko Spica
"A victory with a mixed feelings. We missed tonight the qualification for the Final 16. But a win is a win."
Port of Antwerp Giants Head Coach Paul Vervaeck
"The Final 16 is the purpose of the club. We will do everything to make it. Of course we wanted already to qualify today. The win today was the most important thing."
Den Bosch Head Coach Sam Jones
"Congrats to Antwerp. We had possibilities. However, we missed a little bit of luck."
Den Bosch Player Ali Farokhmanesh
"After a long chase, I think this is a missed opportunity. Congrats to Antwerp. They showed a lot of power."