A tale of two halves for the Antwerp Giants

In their second match-up of the EuroCup the Antwerp Giants showed two faces in their game against Morabanc Andorra. In the opening half – albeit after a slow opening 2 minutes – the Giants stepped to the forefront with strong play by Dudzinski and an excellent entrance by youngster Bleijenbergh to close the little gap and take the 26-22 lead to end the first quarter.

They maintained their momentum throughout the second quarter and got up by a maximum lead of 16 points before 2 long range bombs from Andorra reduced the gap back to 10 (47-37) headed into the half-time break.

And then came the second half. A half in which we saw Antwerp at their worst (at least we hope so) for it seemed they had left their game behind, nicely tucked away in their locker-room. Andorra on the other hand had upped their intensity and regularly found the openings on the offensive end. The Giants struggled mightily to buy a bucket and in no time their 10 point lead disappeared and along with it their beautiful team-play from the opening half. Despite all of that, headed into the final quarter both teams were still tied with the 54-54 score.

But Antwerp’s struggles weren’t over yet. They remained scoreless for about 10 minutes over the course of the third and fourth quarter until finally Kesteloot managed to make 1 of 2 FT’s to end the draught, well… sort of. Andorra continued their run until the final buzzer and eventually came away with the 60-71 victory, holding the Giants to 13 points throughout the entire second half.

Dave Dudzinski led the Giants with his 14 points (6-12 FG’s) & 9 rebounds. Youngster Vrenz Bleijenbergh had one of his nicest games (at least in the first half) of his young professional career to finish with 12 points (5-8 FG’s) & 3 assists. Speedy Smith was hassled throughout the entire game by the pesky guards from Andorra and was unable to bring his usual leadership and stranded with 10 points, while Stephaun Branch also added 10 points in the painful loss.

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