Eddy Casteels cannot afford another defeat after Limburg’s loss with Leuven Bears: “I am very disappointed”
12 de November, 2023
Basketbal BNXT League Leuven Bears
Leuven Bears lost last matchday in Limburg United (80-68) and continues to sink further in the rankings. The team of coach Eddy Casteels has 2 out of 8 and cannot afford another defeat at home against red lantern Okapi Aalst on Tuesday evening.
In Hasselt versus Limburg United, Leuven Bears suffered a sixth defeat. The Limburgers were missing the injured duo Jonas Delalieux and Maxime De Zeeuw, but the Bears were also not complete: the American John Fulkerson is still sidelined with a knee injury and his compatriot Codi Riley was not yet eligible to play. After a balanced first half (40-34), this ultimately resulted in an 80-68 defeat.
Eddy Casteels was particularly sharp about his selection after the match in Hasselt. “Character took precedence over talent tonight. We were taught a lesson. Guys like Wout Leemans, Jarne Lesuisse and Thomas Van Ounsem, among others, went all the way. I am therefore very disappointed.”
A tough challenge
Leuven Bears has had a poor start to the competition in the BNXT League. It’s best to stop talking about Elite Gold for a while. After the Belgian regular competition, the top five have been placed for Elite Gold after twenty match days. In the season in which that competition was founded, Leuven Bears qualified immediately. They were unable to fulfill that ambition last season and this campaign will again be a tough challenge.
If Leuven Bears still wants to qualify, it must absolutely achieve a two out of two this week. In concrete terms: a win on Tuesday in their own Sportoase against Okapi Aalst and on Sunday, November 19 in Kortrijk against Spurs. If Leuven Bears succeeds in that task, it will end the first round with a 4 out of 10, advance to the middle bracket and can carefully continue to hope for a place in the top five. If it loses once, or in the most painful scenario twice, it is more than likely heading towards Elite Gold.
“First things first and therefore try to keep that profit in Leuven on Tuesday,” says Eddy Casteels. “No, Okapi Aalst is not a snack. They lost eight times in a row, but in the last three matches they only lost in the absolute final phase and by a few points. We will have to be more than ready to hold off a fierce Okapi Aalst.”