With an obvious 86-63 defeat, Kortrijk sees all chances of participating in the Elite Gold lost. It remains stuck at just eight wins. Last week’s coaching change does not seem to have made any immediate difference.
Okapi Aalst coach Thomas Crab was a bit afraid before the start of the match. “It is always dangerous to play against a team that is just working with a new coach. Sometimes there are players who, if they perform less well, point the finger at the coach. If it is replaced, they want to show themselves and play with more commitment. So it could be that Spurs show a different face than in recent weeks.” Brecht Guillemyn, Kortrijk’s sporting technical director, was a bit more reassured. “Our players are professionals, they have to keep this under control,” he knew.
The carnival conditions in Aalst are legendary. That was no different on Saturday evening. Okapi played with a big heart and a lot of passion. The Onions continued to fight for every ball. That was a bit different at Kortrijk. After the first quarter, the people of Kortrijk faced a 23-19 deficit. They went into halftime with fourteen points already in hand. And it didn’t get any better. Aalst native Dorian Marchant in particular was a scourge for the weak defense of the Spurs. Coach Jef Nolmans requested a timeout at 64-42. In it he once again emphasized the missing aggression in the one-on-one defense. He wanted to continue to see aggression. Nothing worked. 86-63 was the final score. Strangely enough, Jayden Gardner became the top scorer of the game with seventeen points. Kortrijk’s numbers also looked quite good in the rebounds. With the exception of Yarick Brussen – especially in defense – and Niels De Ridder, too many players remained below par.
Not good defensively
Niels De Ridder was not gentle afterwards. “I miss grinta with some players. There was far too little aggression. You can never win a match this way. If you get 86, you’ll know. Our scoring percentage was also far too low. They fly in so easily during training, but in a competition it doesn’t work. Weird. But this was especially not good defensively. We will still continue to work hard. So it will now be the Silver League. We now have to quickly regroup to perform correctly again.”