EuroMillions League - Round Thirteen: Belfius Mons-Hainaut edges Basic-Fit Brussels on Boxing Day

According to the Belgian press, playing on Boxing Day did not make all EuroMillions League actors happy: most foreign players do not have much time to enjoy the holiday season or fly back to their home country to join their family, it also ties clubs' staff and workforce down at a period of the year when most people simply take time to enjoy the holiday season, etc.

Bert attended the most exciting match-up of Round Thirteen: the derby game between both mid-range teams Belfius Mons-Hainaut and Basic-Fit Brussels. The game took place at the mons.arena in Jemappes, Belgium in front of a nice attendance on Boxing Day. Swedish talent Dino Pita (6'5", born in 1988) did not play for Brussels (he left the club for family reasons a few days later and was released for the rest of the season) but the visitors could definitely count on their Belgian international point guard Guy Muya (6'4", born in 1993) who was back in action after a few days of rest due to an injury.

As the game started, fans and observers quickly understood that it would not be a high-scoring game. The scoreboard showed 2-4 after the first five minutes of play. Nice efforts by Belgian player Guy Muya helped Basic-Fit Brussels dig a gap but the Foxes of Coach Yves Defraignes then played much better in defense. Belgian international playmaker Lionel Bosco (5'9", born in 1981) even allowed the home team to be in front at the end of the first quarter: 17-15. The game was pleasant to watch although several players were prevented from taking good shots: Croatian forward Ante Delas (6'7", born in 1988) of Belfius Mons-Hainaut had 0-of-5 from the field in this game and Lithuanian guard Augustas Peciukevicius (6'4", born in 1991) of Basic-Fit Brussels had a 2-of-11 from the field after 40 minutes. Belgian big man Amaury Gorgemans (7'00", born in 1992) was well present in the paint for the Foxes but Belgian forward Maxime Depuydt (6'4", born in 1992) and U.S. player Jeremy Simmons (6'9", born in 1989, Charleston '11) finished strongly for the visitors in the first half, giving Brussels a short 30-33 advantage at the half. Brussels had recorded a poor 0-of-12 from three-point range until then. In the third quarter, the home squad played well especially inside, in the paint. The Foxes were still in front after 30 minutes: 52-48. With 12 seconds remaining before the end of regulation, the score was 66-64. The visitors of Coach Serge Crèvecoeur could not do much about it and, despite last efforts by point guards Guy Muya, Domien Loubry (6'1", born in 1985) and his mates, eventually lost with 68-65 on a last shot hit by U.S. guard Tre Demps (6'2", born in 1993, Northwestern '16).

It is worth mentioning the great performance of Romanian center Alexandru Olah (7'00", born in 1993, Northwestern '16) who helped to win the game and recorded a double-double by scoring 15 points and 15 rebounds. U.S. forward Justin Cage (6'6", born in 1985, Xavier '07) also contributed with another impressive double-double: 13 points and 12 rebounds for the winners.

Belfius Mons-Hainaut made 17-of-21 free shots (81%) during the game. The Foxes also outrebounded Basic-Fit Brussels 45-32, including a 38-23 advantage in defensive rebounds. Thanks to their home win against Basic-Fit Brussels on Boxing Day, Belfius Mons-Hainaut moved up to fourth place in the EuroMillions Basketball standings. Basic-Fit Brussels lost a fourth consecutive game in the Belgian competition. They dropped to the seventh position with seven games now lost in the ongoing EuroMillions League.

Four players scored in double figures for the Foxes in the game againt Brussels. U.S. import swingman Chris Dowe (6'4", born in 1991, Bellarmine '13) answered with 16 points and American power forward Brandon Ubel (6'10", born in 1991, Nebraska '13) had 11 points and 9 rebounds for Basic-Fit Brussels in this rather pleasant game.

Score evolution: 17-15, 30-33, 52-48 and 68-65.
Best scorers:
UMH: A. Olah 15, J. Cage 13, A. Gorgemans 11, T. Demps 11, I. Lasisi 9, L. Bosco 7, A. Delas 2.
Brussels: C. Dowe 16, D. Loubry 12, B. Ubel 11, J. Simmons 9, M. Depuydt 7, G. Muya 6, A. Peciukevicius 4.

(Pictures: Bert Larsimont; and

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