Dario Gjergja is with Filou Oostende on one victory of the twelfth national title in a row: “Let’s stay normal and humble”

Basketball BNXT League – Final national play-offs Antwerp Giants – Filou Oostende 70-86

Dario Gjergja goes crazy after the important victory in Antwerp on Thursday evening. — © Belgian


After two impressive victories against challenger Antwerp Giants, Ostend coach Dario Gjergja pleads for modesty, because the mussels have not yet reached the shore. Only after a new and decisive victory at home on Saturday can the coastal team uncork the champagne for a magical twelfth national title in a row.

Peter Rossel

Dario Gjergja saw how Ostend led 9-17 after 4’14” on Thursday evening in Antwerp thanks to 100% finishing (4 out of 4 two-pointers, 2 out of 2 bombs and 3 out of 3 free throws). At the end of the first quarter, that percentage was still 73.9% (7 out of 10 two-pointers, 4 out of 6 bombs and 6 out of 7 free throws).

“We opened the match phenomenally with a 16-32 lead after the opening quarter”, Dario Gjergja analyzed the third final. “After that, we swallowed a 12-0 in 2’16” due to our own ball losses and Antwerp three-pointers. We ended up being disastrous for four minutes. They answered clearly (33-35), but we still managed to reach half-time with an eight-point lead. The third quarter went brilliantly and was crucial, with very good ball movements and patient help to each other. We weren’t as soft as in the second quarter. We lost the final quarter, but the victory (70-86) was no longer in danger. I am very happy and proud of the boys.”

Remember June 13, 2019

Ostend leads in this final series with 1-2. Whoever wins three times is national champion. On Saturday evening in-house, Ostend will have its first chance to realize #magic12. “Nothing has changed for me. For me it is 0-0. Let’s stay normal and humble now,” Dario Gjergja emphasized. “We have to start the fourth final with the right mentality. The Ostend of the past three games is the team I want to see later. Everyone has the desire to win, everyone knows their responsibility, everyone plays hard.”

That Ostend is hungry for a title party, is proven by the high demand for tickets. On Friday at 4 p.m., 4,000 of the 5,000 tickets had already been sold. Filou always celebrated his latest titles away from home: in 2022 in Mechelen and in 2021 in Bergen. In 2020, a party was missing due to the pandemic. The previous championship gala in its own Dôme dates back to June 13, 2019. Then… Antwerp Giants was the losing finalist. Also this: the refs are Saturday night crew chief Renaud Geller, Nick Van den Broeck and Geert Jacobs.

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