Filou Oostende is counting on Ilimane Diop’s European experience for a trip to Germany: “A win would help us a lot”


Not only Sam Van Rossom has a lot of European experience. Ilimane Diop can also say a word. — © Isosport


The second part of the group stage of the Basketball Champions League (BCL) starts on Tuesday evening. If Filou Oostende wins again on away against the German Oldenburg, the Sea Captains will take a big step towards play-ins.

Of course Sam Van Rossom, two-time Eurocup winner with Valencia, has the most experience of all Ostend players in continental club competitions, but Ilimane Diop also knows what European basketball means. He played for various Spanish clubs in the EuroLeague, the EuroCup and the Champions League. For example, Diop played eight consecutive seasons and 195 games with Baskonia Vitoria in the EuroLeague, the highest European competition. He achieved his best evaluation in January 2019 in a home match against Gran Canaria. Coincidentally, he later defended the colors of Gran Canaria. He played 18 EuroCup matches with the islanders. The team won the group stage but lost by two points in the quarter-finals against Andorra. Last season he played 15 games with Murcia in the Champions League. This time too, Diop left the European forum after the quarter-finals. Malaga eliminated Murcia.

“We also had Pinar Karsiyaka along the way (winning in the play-ins, red.) and Strasbourg, two opponents of Ostend this season,” Diop notes. “The EuroCup and the Champions League reach the same level. My top moment was of course the EuroLeague Final Four with Baskonia Vitoria in Berlin. I’ll never forget that.”

Hard work

On the fourth matchday of this Champions League campaign, Ostend will play a crucial match in Oldenburg. “With our winning mentality, we must give everything to achieve the maximum,” said Diop. “It won’t be easy, because the German team is a solid unit. A win would help us significantly towards possible qualification. Let’s take our chance. We also have a chance to win in the next home matches against Pinar Karsiyaka and Strasbourg. With hard work we can still achieve great things. We have to be ready.”

Diop signed with Ostend for three months, until the beginning of January, when the play-ins in the Champions League start. “If everything goes well, we will see if there will be an extension. I still want to improve a lot here. In life you constantly have to take a step forward physically, tactically and technically. I always play to win. I already won a national title with Baskonia Vitoria in Spain. Of course I would like to win a national title in Belgium.”

Sport 10 broadcasts all Filou Oostende matches in the Champions League live via channel 132 of Proximus, channel 218 of Telenet, channel 38 of Orange and channel 34 of TV Vlaanderen. The toss-up in Oldenburg is at 8 p.m.

Ostend won four times out of five against German teams

Oldenburg has already lost eight Champions League matches in a row. However, the three defeats this season have only been by a difference of five or fewer points. Ostend has the statistic that it wins 80 percent of its matches against German teams. Those four out of five also include the 88-83 victory at home against Oldenburg two weeks ago. On Sunday afternoon, Oldenburg lost 93-84 to Tübingen in the German Bundesliga. Oldenburg won five of its nine league games. (rpo)

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