Tireless Pierre-Antoine Gillet in the clouds with Ostend’s 24th national title: “We still showed our true identity”
28 de May, 2023
Basketball BNXT League Filou Oostende champion
BC Oostende drew a 24th line behind the label ‘national title’ on its wonderful list of achievements. The coast team celebrated the first dozen between 1981 and 2007, but under coach Gjergja and playmaker Djordjevic, that number has doubled over the past twelve seasons. Twelve titles in a row: unique. magic 12.
Filou Oostende completed the job on Saturday-evening in the fourth game of the final of the play-offs by beating Antwerp Giants 81-57. “After the narrow defeat in the first match, we finally showed our true identity in the last three games,” said Pierre-Antoine Gillet. “It was very important to prove this to everyone, but especially to ourselves. We knew we could do it, but we had to do it.”
“We kept pushing the pedal hard the whole game”, continued the tireless Gillet (13 points at 83.3%, 3 rebounds and 1 steal). “Once again defense was key. Hard and aggressive defending was the essence. This gave us confidence and we were able to create easy baskets ourselves. We were extra focused in such a packed arena. This is a wonderful feeling.”
Ostend gave the impression of playing more dominantly in the finals than in the semi-finals. “Mechelen was therefore a tough opponent to whom we found it difficult to adapt”, Gillet explained. “Maybe there was more pressure back then. In the semi-finals, we all didn’t play basketball at our best level. Towards the finals we focused more on ourselves. We ended up doing a good job. We took it match by match, we respected everything the coach asked, we defended much more aggressively, we weren’t afraid to make mistakes. Entering the field or going to the bank: we did it all without a murmur. We were not selfish, but worked as one team.”
“That last three-pointer from Dusan Djordjevic was the icing on the cake”
The atmosphere reached a climax on Saturday evening when captain Dusan Djordjevic, who had come on in the penultimate minute, secured the 81-57 final score with a far bomb on an assist from Keye Van der Vuurst and thus ended his career. The most beautiful farewell scenario for the 40-year-old legend.
“Dusan’s last three-pointer was the icing on the cake,” said Gillet. “He deserved that, because he created something exceptional and unique here with Dario Gjergja. Nobody did what they did here. He had such a big impact in Ostend, unbelievable. This season, Dusan had a difficult year, as he played fewer matches than before due to his foot injuries. He worked very hard to get back. In every important match he pushed us with his experience and his words of wisdom. It will not be easy to work without him in the future, but out of respect for him we must continue to make the same effort.”