05 October, 2021
15 May, 2022
2 Levi Randolph (OOST)
Game Report
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Filou Oostende blow out Unicaja, but Spaniards advance to Quarter-Finals

OOSTENDE (Belgium) - Dario Gjergja did it once again, powering the Belgian champs not only to a win over Unicaja, but also to a big enough triumph (86-68) to give them better chances of reaching the Quarter-Finals. Unicaja are already there.

With Prometey withdrawing from the competition, the results from the first phase were nullified. After defeating U-BT Cluj Napoca and losing to Filou Oostende, Unicaja have ended the Round of 16 with a 2-2 record, but with a +8 points difference.

Even in case of a three-way tie at 2-2, Unicaja would advance because either Cluj or Oostende (or both) would end up with negative points difference.

Turning point: The moment Gjergja and his front office managed to convince Levi Randolph to come back to Europe. Former Sidigas Avellino, Banco di Sardegna Sassari and SIG Strasbourg wing spent the last three seasons in the United States and New Zealand, but Oostende flew him back to the continent days before his 29th birthday.

It was a smart move, because Randolph's season has been off the charts. And when he beat the shot clock to make it 73-66 with four minutes remaining, he started an avalanche. Unicaja led 66-65, then watched as Randolph and his teammates scored 14 unanswered points and finished the game with a 21-2 run.

Game hero: The first time they played Unicaja, Levi Randolph had his worst game of the season, scoring just 7 points - the only time he was kept in single digits in 2021-22. He came back determined to make amends at home.

Randolph finished with 35 points on 12-of-17 shooting, including 5-of-7 from beyond the arc, and Oostende were +29 with him on the floor.

It was Randolph's highest scoring game of the season, topping the 34 points he had against Leuven Bears in the domestic championship in January.

It was also Levi's highest scoring game in the European part of his career. All-time career-high stays at 47, which he had for Cleveland Charge in the NBA G League in 2019-20.

Stats don't lie: Oostende just love playing against Spanish teams. They are now 5-0 against teams from Liga Endesa in games played in Belgium, thanks to their 13-of-21 shooting from beyond the arc.


Bottom line: It all comes down to the last game. Filou Oostende will play host to U-BT Cluj Napoca. Unicaja are through to the Quarter-Finals draw, but they will wait patiently to see if they finish first or second in the group.

The Belgian champs would advance with a win of six or more points. All other results send Cluj and Unicaja through to the elite eight.

They said:

"They had a really good game scoring-wise, but our mistakes in the end didn't help us." - Francis Alonso, Unicaja

"We were in the game for 35 minutes, following our plan. We knew we could suffer in the last five minutes because of the short rotation from the bench. We should've made a much better job in terms of controlling the open court, defensive transitions and the turnovers especially. We are in. We don't know if we are first or second, but we are in (the Quarter-Finals)." - Unicaja head coach Ibon Navarro

"We knew what we needed to do to keep our hopes alive of making it to the next round. We played hard, played good 40 minutes, got the win, it was a good game. It's a good place to start and keep working for next week." - Mikael Jantunen, Filou Oostende

"Proud of this group of players. Amazing effort, amazing what they achieved after being down in a basement. We bounced back, we opened the game even better than we expected. Unicaja are a very good team, they bounced back fast, but we knew that we could do it. Everybody who stepped on the floor did his part. The last five minutes of the game were amazing in the sense of when they see that we have an eight point lead and we lost by 16 in Malaga, we started to think that we can do it. It's a great thing." - Filou Oostende head coach Dario Gjergja