Okapi has secured a shirt sponsor, but is now also looking for its first victory: “I expect a response from the entire team”

Basketball BNXT League Okapi Aalst – Limburg United

Trevor Blondin was not present on Sunday, according to sporting manager Anthony Mallego. — © Gregory Van Gansen

Aalst

The cup elimination was still reverberating in the Forum this week, where sporting manager Anthony Mallego also sounded the alarm. With the Belgian gambling company 777, Okapi will be playing with the new shirt sponsor for the first time on Saturday against Limburg United, hoping for a first competition victory.

Chairman Kristof De Saedeleer was pleased with the new shirt sponsor, who has committed to Okapi for two years. “We are happy with the confidence in our club and hopefully this is the start of a longer and fruitful collaboration.” The new shirt sponsor committed not only to Okapi Aalst, but also to Bergen and Kortrijk Spurs. Commercial manager Bart De Moor knows that there will be a ban on gambling advertising from January 1, 2025, while gambling company 777 stands for sports betting and casino games. “The new legislation is not yet that clear. From 2025, advertising will no longer be allowed on the street, but shirt advertising is still under discussion. There will be no problem until the end of 2024. Our new sponsor will be on our jerseys from Saturday and will also be applied to our parquet floor and the lead boarding.”

Sporting manager Anthony Mallego does not plan to use the budget increase to attract a new player. “The shirt sponsor helps us to keep the budget in balance. Poor sporting results should not tempt us to take financial risks. We want to remain financially healthy and from that perspective we turn over every cent twice. I expect a response from the group on Saturday, which disappointed me badly at Brussels on Sunday. On Friday we took a step forward in Aalst with a first victory after a strong collective performance. However, two days later we took three steps back with a terrible performance in Brussels. On Friday I was still very excited, but on Sunday the pendulum swung completely to deep disappointment.”

Lazar Mutic and Trevor Blondin in particular fell through the ice in Neder-Over-Heembeek. “Mutis played a great match on Friday, but was unrecognizable on Sunday. You can play a bad match, but as a professional you have to be mentally ready to start a match and that didn’t seem to be the case to me. I was always a fan of Trevor Blondin and always defended him through thick and thin. Jordan Walker also needed time last season to settle in and grow in his role. Well, Blondin also has the potential to make it happen and step into Walker’s big shoes. However, Trevor was also not at class on Sunday. By the way, I don’t want to shame Blondin and Mutic, because I expect a response from the entire team.”

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