Bottom of The BBL with a 0 -19 record, knocked out of The BBL Cup at the first time of asking and then losing in the 1st round of The BBL Trophy to Worthing Thunder and EBL side one league below who also hadn't won a game all season.
You'd be forgiven if you thought that there was not much joy to be had at Mersey Tigers these days. Less than two seasons after dominating the BBL scene the Liverpool based side have struggled along in the last couple of seasons barely surviving, but surviving they are and they're still in there fighting.
And there is some light for The Tigers in the shape and form of 22-year old Belgian, Gael Hulsen (193-G/F-90, agency: LBM Management). The 6' 4" shooting guard has been one of the few successes in Mersey's troubled season and he currently averages 11.6 points, 1.9 rebounds and 3.2 assists per game as well as shooting almost 40% from beyond the arc.
Having played for Belgium's under-16 and under-20's team and spending time learning his sport in his homeland the affable swingman got the opportunity to play abroad in The BBL this season and decided to take that opportunity. Life has been tough as he aims to make his way in the basketball world but despite the tough season he remains upbeat about the future.
Eurobasket caught up with Hulsen after his sides loss at the home of The BBL Champions Newcastle Eagles and started by asking him his thoughts on the game which ended 121 - 58 in favour of the home side with Hulsen top scoring for The Tigers with 17 points.
"It was a very bad night. This game was very complicated for us. We came with only seven players and our coach wasn't there either. It was not a good situation to go in to the game in. Newcastle are a very good team they had obviously prepared for the game well. Their defence was not what we are used to, they have put a lot of work in to their defence its easy to see that. They were too well prepared for us and we were not ready for them and it showed during the game."
Despite the result and his feelings, Hulsen was one of the few Tigers that did impress as he kept going for the full 40 minutes and added another double-figure night to his resume. So, despite the results he's still managing to put up some decent numbers in The BBL.
"I think I'm making a good job of my first year in The BBL despite the teams results. I think that I give my best every day that I can to be at the top level that I can. I think its a very good league and its a big opportunity for me to show my level. I think I'm on the good way and just need to continue to work hard to get to the best level I can."
"Tonight it was very difficult as immediately the game started Newcastle made a lot of shots and our heads went down a bit. Its very hard to keep going as we are very young and less mature and experienced as other teams so its difficult at times to keep our heads up and work till the end."
"I just try my best to be at my top level all of the time on and off court and I try to push the others but sometimes that's very difficult. We need to keep working. This is a five-year project from my team, we are trying to build something so we have to keep working. We don't need to think about now we need to think about the future, we need to be patient and we need to work more than everybody else."
Positive words from a young man that is not in the most positive of situations and a great credit to Hulsen that he can think that way and remain upbeat. So, how did Hulsen end up at Mersey?
"There was contact to me from the coach who knew me. We talked through the summer and then he proposed that I come across for a trial. I didn't even get to the end of the practise game and the coach called me across and said he was satisfied with what he saw and offered me a job."
"He told the players that I was our new player and I was immediately accepted by all the players. I have a lot of respect for them and they have a lot of respect for me. The fans seem to like me as well as I have a lot of support from them. I feel good with the Mersey Tigers, just trying to get a win and work hard. I'm excited to be with this group and they are very kind and good towards me."
So, what is Hulsen hoping for in the remaining weeks of the season?
"For sure I want to get a win. All the players want to get a win. When you play professional sport you have to try and be competitive all the time. We will try to get a win but we need to work hard and keep our heads up no matter what happens."
"I don't really know what the future holds. I want to continue to do the best job I can this season and the coach has already told me that they think they'd like to sign me for another year. I don't know yet as there may be other teams that might offer me something. I need to talk with my agent and look at the positive things as well as the negative things and consider all parts so I don't really know yet."
"The BBL is a very good league so I think if I can make a good job in the BBL then people can get a view of me and it would be good if I could stay in the BBL so I'll continue to work hard, give my best and hope to stay in the BBL."
Hulsen appears a very level-headed, intelligent young man with the operative word being young. With his attitude, team ethic and hard working commitment he can only get better and there's no doubting thats what he's aiming to do. Look out for him in the future as he has the drive and energy to make it in this sport.
Coach coach Eddy Casteels and his staf present in preparation for Eurobasket 2017 (August 31-September 17) that mainly plays abroad. The last week of July there is a camp in Iceland with two games against the host country. On August 5, the Lions practice in Germany. From Germany, it goes straight to Spain. On August 7th there is a game against Tunisia and on August 9 versus Spain.From August 17 to August 20 there is the four-country tournament in Toulouse. 17 against Italy, 18 against Fra... [read more]
Coach coach Eddy Casteels and his staf present in preparation for Eurobasket 2017 (August 31-September 17) that mainly plays abroad. The last week of July there is a camp in Iceland with two games against the host country. On August 5, the Lions practice in Germany. From Germany, it goes straight to Spain. On August 7th there is a game against Tunisia and on August 9 versus Spain.From August 17 to August 20 there is the four-country tournament in Toulouse. 17 against Italy, 18 against France and 19 versus Montenegro is the program there. Last but not least, European Champion Spain comes to Belgium for a gam. Spain won the silver medal at the 2008 and 2012 Olympic Games and last year in Rio the Bronze Medal. This game will continue on Wednesday, August 23rd. The management of the Belgian Lions is currently making the final move towards this world top team with its stars from the NBA, Real Madrid and Barcelona. On August 29, coach coach Eddy Casteels leaves with the Belgian Lions to Turkey / Istanbul. The Lions take part at Eurobasket for the fourth time in a row. The Belgian Lions, which appear in group D, will open their campaign on Friday, September 1 against Britain. On Saturday 2/9 they play against Latvia, 4/9 against Russia and 5/9 against home countryTurkey. Their final group match will be played on Serbia on September 7th. A press conference with more information about the training program and the preselection will take place in late May / early June. For more information: www.basketbelgium.be.
Jonathan Tabu selected the top Belgian playing abroad in last week's games - 2 days ago
follow us on
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Belgians who are currently playing abroad. This week's number one is an international point guard Jonathan Tabu (189-85). He could not help RETAbet BB (12-15) in their last game. Despite Tabu's very good performance RETAbet BB lost 85-90 at home to the lower-ranked (#14) Blusens Monbus.
Traditionally, every week we bring you a list of the top performances of Belgians who are currently playing abroad.
#1. This week's number one is an international point guard Jonathan Tabu (189-85, currently plays in Spain). He could not help RETAbet BB (12-15) in their last game. Despite Tabu's very good performance RETAbet BB lost 85-90 at home to the lower-ranked (#14) Blusens Monbus.
He was the second best scorer with 18 points. Tabu also added 5 assists in 28 minutes on the court.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be critical.
This year Tabu averages: 9.5ppg, 2.0rpg, 3.5apg, 3FGP: 37.8% and FT: 81.5% in 24 games he played so far.
He has a dual citizenship: Belgian and Congolese.
Tabu is currently a member of the Belgian senior national team.
#2. Second place goes to an international power forward Maxime De Zeeuw (206-87, currently plays in Germany). He was not able to help EWE Baskets in their game against Bayern Muenchen (27-3) in the German BBL.
De Zeeuw scored 7 points and added 4 passes in 17 minutes.
EWE Baskets lost 83-90 on the road to the higher-ranked (#3) Bayern Muenchen.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game is very crucial.
It's De Zeeuw's first season with the team.
This year his overall stats are: 9.5ppg, 4.2rpg, 1.5apg, 2FGP: 55.3%(47-85), 3FGP: 43.4% and FT: 83.6% in 26 games.
Ex-Verviers-Pepinster player is in the roster of the Belgian senior national team.
#3. The Belgian player who performed third best last week abroad was an international power forward Kevin Tumba (205-91, currently plays in Spain). Tumba contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Baloncesto Fuenlabrada (11-17) crushing them 99-62 in the Spanish Liga Endesa in Sunday night's game.
He scored 9 points, grabbed 5 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
Universidad Catolica de Murcia CB (12-16) is placed tenth in the Liga Endesa.
There are only four games left until the end of the Regular Season. So now every game will be important.
Tumba's total stats this season are: 3.3ppg, 4.1rpg, 1.3bpg and FT: 70.4%.
He is another player who holds two passports: DR Congolese and Belgian.
Ex-Belfius Mons-Hainaut 2nd Team player is also a member of the Belgian senior national team.
#4. An experienced forward Axel Hervelle (205-83, currently plays in Spain) is a teammate of previously mentioned Jonathan Tabu. But that was another game of his team in Spanish Liga Endesa which we would like to mention.
Hervelle was not able to secure a victory for RETAbet BB (12-15) in their game against Joventut (10-19).
He scored 8 points, had 5 rebounds and made 2 blocks.
RETAbet BB was crushed 82-55 in Badalona by the lower-ranked Joventut (#13).
Hervelle has been at the team for seven years.
Hervelle's total stats this season are: 6.2ppg, 4.8rpg and 1.9apg.
He is also Belgian national team player.
#5. Former international point guard Dimitri Lauwers (187-79, currently plays in Italy) contributed to Bergamo's victory against the 11th-ranked Milano Hikkaduwa (12-18) 88-79 in the Italian Serie B (third division) on Saturday night.
Lauwers scored 6 points.
Bergamo Basket 2014 (24-6) is placed second in Group B.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season.
Lauwers' total stats this season are: 4.2ppg, 2.1rpg and 2.3apg.
He has both Belgian and Italian nationalities.
Lauwers used to play for the Belgian national team
five years ago.
The list of other players, who all have Belgian passport but never been selected to any of Belgian national teams:
#1.Ruphin Kayembe (200-F/C-92, currently plays in France) led Souffelweyersheim to a victory over the ninth-ranked ALS Basket (17-17) crushing them 74-49 in the French NM1 (third division) last Sunday.
He was MVP of the game. Kayembe recorded 17 points and grabbed 8 rebounds.
BC Souffelweyersheim (23-11) is placed third in the NM1.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
The Regular Season already ended.
It's Kayembe's first season with the team.
He has relatively good stats this year: 12.1ppg, 5.7rpg and 1.7apg.
Kayembe has a dual citizenship: DR Congolese and Belgian.
#2.Tyler Haws (193-G-91, college: BYU, currently plays in Poland) contributed to Anwil's victory against the fifth-ranked Rosa (19-11) 80-74 in the Polish PLK last Monday.
Haws recorded 9 points in 17 minutes.
Anwil Wloclawek (24-7) is placed first in the PLK.
It was his team's 14th consecutive victory in a row.
They will play only one more game in the Regular Season. And that game will be critical.
This year Haws' total stats are: 9.3ppg and 2.0rpg in 23 games he played so far.
He is a naturalized American.
Despite Haws' Belgian passport, he previously played for the USA university national team and is probably not eligible to play for the Belgian team.
Strangely Haws has never played in Belgium.
#3.Andrija Coric (199-F/G-95, currently plays in Croatia) contributed to Cibona's victory against the closely-ranked KK Split (21-5) 76-70 in the Croatian A1 in Sunday night's game.
Coric scored 6 points in only 7 minutes.
It was the game of the round between two top 4 ranked teams. KK Cibona VIP Zagreb (20-6) is placed fourth in the A1.
It was his team's fifth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only two games left until the end of the Regular Season.
This year Coric's total stats are: 5.7ppg and 2.5rpg in 23 games.
He is another player who holds two passports: Belgian and Croatian.
Despite Coric's Belgian nationality, he previously played for the Croatian U20 national team and probably cannot be called to the Belgian team.
#4.Leigh Enobakhare (206-C-86, agency: Court Side, currently plays in Holland) managed to help Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden to win against the closely-ranked Amsterdam (9-19) 75-56 in the Dutch Eredivisie last Thursday.
Enobakhare scored only 3 points and grabbed 10 rebounds.
Zorg and Zekerheid Leiden (19-9) is placed third in the Eredivisie.
It was his team's third consecutive victory in a row.
Enobakhare's total stats this season are: 3.5ppg and 4.4rpg.
He has both Nigerian and Belgian nationalities.
#5.Jonathan Dubas (204-F/C-91, currently plays in Switzerland) contributed to Monthey's victory against the fifth-ranked Neuchatel (13-12) 81-76 in the Swiss LNA on Saturday night.
Dubas scored only 4 points and grabbed 9 rebounds in 18 minutes.
BBC Monthey (18-7) is placed second in Places 1-6 group.
It was his team's fourth consecutive victory in a row.
There are only two games left until the end of the Second Stage.
This year Dubas' total stats are: 9.0ppg, 7.0rpg, 2.0apg and 1.2spg in 25 games.
He also holds two passports: Belgian and Swiss.
#6.Stan Leemans (205-C-92, currently plays in Switzerland) contributed to Fribourg's victory against the third-ranked Lugano Tigers 74-69 in the Swiss LNA in Saturday night's game.
Leemans scored only 2 points.
Leemans' total stats this season are: 1.3ppg and 1.2rpg.
He has dual citizenship: Belgian and Swiss.
#7.Charly Pontens (190-PG-95, currently plays in France) contributed to an easy victory against the closely-ranked Boulazac Basket 75-56 in the French ProB (second division) last Friday.
Pontens scored only 2 points in 20 minutes.
This year Pontens' total stats are: 3.4ppg and 1.5apg in 25 games.
He holds both Belgian and French passports.
Top Division I Round 1 of Semi-Finals. Wins for Waregem and Gent Hawks - 2 days ago
follow us on
Oxaco - Waregem 77-90 Waregem cruised past Oxaco on the road to open win count in the series. The guests trailed by 4 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 3-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 90-77. Waregem made 17-of-18 free shots (94.4 percent) during the game. Forward Thomas Foucart (192-84) fired a double-double by scoring 21 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Swingman Brecht Guillemyn (192-87) chipped in 20 points. Four Waregem player... [read more]
Waregem cruised past Oxaco on the road to open win count in the series. The guests trailed by 4 points after first quarter, but they stormed back to get the 3-point lead at the halftime and eventually won the game 90-77. Waregem made 17-of-18 free shots (94.4 percent) during the game. Forward Thomas Foucart (192-84) fired a double-double by scoring 21 points and 10 rebounds for the winners. Swingman Brecht Guillemyn (192-87) chipped in 20 points. Four Waregem players scored in double figures. Forward Christopher Pegg (185-82) produced 19 points and 5 rebounds and Sam Van-Hoey (190-91) added 19 points respectively for lost side. Oxaco's coach Tony van den Bosch rotated ten players in this game, but that didn't help. Top scorers: Waregem: T.Foucart 21+10reb+3ast, B.Guillemyn 20+4reb+1ast, S.Naudts 19+2reb+4ast, B.Willy Samaey 12+5reb+3ast, A.Steinbach 9+2ast, T.Bruyneel 3+3reb+1ast Oxaco: C.Pegg 19+5reb+3ast, S.Van Hoey 19+3reb+1ast, N.Celis 15+4reb+2ast, M.De Meyer 9+2reb+1ast, E.Derby 4+4reb+1ast, G.Nau 4+4reb+1ast
Gent Hawks overcame Gembo BBC in the opener. The game was mostly controlled by Gent Hawks. Gembo BBC was better in fourth quarter 19-17. But it was not enough to take a lead and get a victory that evening. They dominated on the defensive end, holding Gembo BBC to just 4 points in third quarter. Gent Hawks players were unselfish on offense dishing 28 assists comparing to just 7 passes made by Gembo BBC's players. Worth to mention a great performance of guard Laurent Lhote (182-84) who helped to win the game recording 16 points and 8 assists. Power forward Joren Vermoessen (201-93) contributed with 19 points and 5 rebounds for the winners. Four Gent Hawks players scored in double figures. Gent Hawks' coach Eric Rogiers felt very confident that he used 11 players which allowed the starters a little rest for the next games. Jens Bouckaert (-91) answered with 18 points and 9 rebounds and center Anthony Vermeersch (202-90) added 13 points and 6 rebounds in the effort for Gembo BBC. Top scorers: Gent Hawks: J.Vermoessen 19+5reb+1ast, L.Lhote 16+2reb+8ast, R.Spaens 15+4reb+4ast, J.Vermoessen 12+5reb+5ast, G.De Pooter 11+3reb+1ast, R.Van den Berghe 8+9reb Gembo BBC: J.Bouckaert 18+9reb, A.Vermeersch 13+6reb, T.Beaujean 8+4reb+4ast, T.Goethaert 3+4reb+2ast, P.Van Rillaer 3+5reb+1ast, S.De Bruyn 3+2reb
Copyright (c) 1998-2017 Eurobasket Inc. Disclaimer
Do not copy, redistribute, publish or otherwise exploit information that you download from the site !
Do not encumber, license, modify, publish, sell, transfer or transmit, or in any way exploit, any of the
content of the site, nor will you attempt to do so.