Belgacom Spirou, presented to press and media, defeats LF Basket Lulea in nice, friendly game on Sep. 19th, 2014

It was a perfect sports night in Charleroi, Belgium on Friday Sep. 19th: the football (soccer) team Sporting Charleroi won against their guests of Zulte Waregem 2-1 in an important regular Jupiler League game and, not far from the Stade du Pays de Charleroi, the local basketball team Belgacom Spirou Charleroi hosted LF Basket Lulea of Sweden in an interesting friendly game.
The new Spirou team was officially presented to the press and media in the late afternoon. Then, around 800 fans gathered at the Spiroudome to attend the first home game of the season played against LF Basket Lulea (ranked 7th in Sweden-Basketligan in 2013-14) and had the chance to discover the well-balanced Spirou squad. Christophe Beghin, Sacha Massot, Dylan Page and Justin Hamilton were missing (injuries) but new recruit Esben Reinholt from Denmark was well present. Belgacom Spirou had a hard time in defense in the first minutes of the game but quickly reacted well. Amaury Jadin had just been on the floor for a few seconds when he hit a three-pointer to give Spirou a 9-8 lead. Belgian Lion Wen Boss Mukubu even made 11-8 right afterwards. Eric Wise, who shows a great potential and looks like he has a strong personality, had been very proactive in the start of the first quarter. US forward Alex Wesby worked hard and was quite efficient from all ranges for the Swedish opponents. The Swedish coaching staff was happy to see Leigh Enobakhare and his mates be dynamic yet sometimes clumsy. Jaraun Burrows put the Swedish visitors in front on a spectacular dunk after Spirou turned the ball over: 11-12. The first quarter ended on a spectacular shoot from downtown hit by Christopher Ryan for the Swedes and a very impressive defensive play by Leigh Enobakhare in the last seconds of the first quarter: 11-15 after 10 minutes. Loic Schwartz, Eric Wise again and Will Hudson played efficiently and Spirou took the advantage in the start of the second quarter: 21-19. Thanks to experienced guards Zabian Dowdell and Mark Lyons who hit big threes, Belgacom Spirou of Coach Jacques Stas took a larger lead: 31-26. Mainly thanks to Wesby and Ryan, the Swedish team came back in the race immediately afterwards: 31-31 and even 31-32 at half-time.
Greek player Alexandros Sigounas of Lulea controlled the air and was often fouled when driving towards the basket. Suddenly, the scoreboard showed 34-37. Two baskets in a row by Will Hudson brought Spirou closer to their visitors of the evening. It became a very intense game: 44-44, 48-48 and 54-49 for Spirou on a converted three-point attempt by Wen Mukubu. The third quarter eventually ended on the following score: 55-51.
It remained a pleasant game all the way to the final buzzer. LF Basket Lulea's Head Coach Peter Oqvist had to take a time-out when Spirou recorded a 7-point lead (60-53 with 7'31'' left in the game). Jacques Stas looked unhappy less than one minute afterwards when he also had to take a time-out right after an impressive 0-5 run by the convincing and talented Swedish hosts. Eric Wise kept looking strong and Will Hudson worked hard in the paint. Both players did a great job offensively and Spirou had again a rather large lead: 68-60. Mark Lyons hit a fantastic three-point shot in the last minutes of the game to make 73-65. Although a last missed three-point attempt by LF Basket Lulea's shooter Alex Wesby could have changed things, last efforts proved to be vain for the Swedish side. The Spirou players secured the win in the last seconds of the game and made their fans very happy. Nine Spirou players have scored in this game. The attendance had seen a rather good first basketball match-up at the Spiroudome this season. No doubt, it will be interesting to follow the results of both teams in 2014-15.
Belgacom Spirou of new President Giovanni Bozzi clearly focuses on youth this season. Young players Anthony Lambot, Michael Fusek and Loic Schwartz played against LF Basket Lulea on Sep. 19th. After the last disappointing seasons, Spirou hopes to recover and wants to re-gain credibility vis-a-vis their fans and partners.
Best scorers:
Spirou: E. Wise 15, W. Hudson 12, L. Schwartz 13, M. Lyons 11, A. Jadin 3, Z. Dowdell 11, L. Enobakhare 2, E. Reinholt 2, W. Mukubu 8.
LF Basket: A. Wesby 19, J. Burrows 13 and A. Sigounas 14.

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