Giants must win by 14 points for the cup final: “We also corrected a lopsided situation in the quarterfinals”
25 de January, 2023
Will Telenet Giants Antwerp qualify tonight for the eighth time in 23 years for the final of the Belgian Cup? The assignment is not easy, because after the 72-59 defeat on Sunday in Liège, the Sinjoren must win in their own Lotto Arena with at least fourteen points difference. “We also corrected a lopsided situation against Leuven in the quarterfinals,” says Jean-Marc Mwema.
What a missed opportunity it was on Sunday in the snow-covered Liège. Telenet Giants Antwerp missed no less than 50 shots and scored a poor 4 out of 31 three-pointers. If the Sinjoren want to open the door to the final, the defense on the pocket duo Angel Rodrigues – Niels Van Den Eynde must be better and the shot percentage must increase.
“We won six games in a row in the BNXT League, which led us to second place,” Jean-Marc Mwema points out about the Giants’ sporting career in recent weeks. “So we are in the winning mood and this also thanks to a great defense. We are the best defensive team in the league at the moment. We must also bring the level that we achieve in the BNXT League to the public prosecutor tonight. Despite the solid thirteen-point piggy bank that Liège has, I believe in our mission. Don’t forget that in the first leg of the quarterfinals we lost to Leuven by eight points. In the return we won by no less than thirty points.
Of course we realize that Liège has become a solid entity after the American takeover. But we have to rely on our own strength and, with the support of our fans, look for a victory by at least 14 points. After all, you don’t get a chance like this every season to qualify for the Belgian Cup final.”
If Telenet Giants Antwerp qualifies for the final, it will face Ostend on March 12 in Vorst Nationaal. The coastal team qualified for the final on Sunday despite a thirteen-point difference (87-74) in Charleroi. Ostend had won the first leg with a difference of 16 points (92-76).
Chairman Björn Verhoeven has made a bet with his family.
“If we qualify for the final, I will walk from the Heylen Vastgoed Basket Campus on foot (Giants training center, ed.) in Merksem to Scherpen-heuvel. That is about 60 kilometers. It has been since my student days that I have traveled such a distance. Then also to Scherpenheuvel by the way. The intention is that I will do that trip before the final.
But first tonight. I especially hope that the Lotto Arena will fill up again in a nice old-fashioned way. We took some actions and with the support of our loyal sixth man I believe in qualifying.”