Groningen’s basketball team Donar are the regular season champions in the Dutch Basketball League.
In a packed MartiniPlaza, Donar beat ZZ Leiden 87-71. It was the sixth championship win for Donar in the team’s history and their fourth win in the past five years. The outcome of the game was already clear in the first quarter: Donar ended the quarter with a 17-point lead (38-21).
Brandyn Curry was the main man in the first quarter. The American playmaker scored 18 points in the first 10 minutes of the game. Curry scored 26 points over the course of the game, including eight for eight attempted 3-pointers. That spectacular accuracy effectively relegated the third-ranked Leiden to a supporting role in the game.
Leiden’s defence was no match for top-ranked Donar, and at halftime, the score was 50-25 for Donar. Leiden’s fate was clear by the end of the first quarter, and the rest of the game was basically damage control.
Donar’s lead hovered around 20 points from the first quarter onward. Jason Dourisseau sealed the deal with a three pointer as the clock counted down the final seconds of the game, bringing the final score to 87-71. In a postgame interview, despite the team’s convincing lead, coach Erik Braai said that the team did not play as well in the final three quarters of the game.
The game was briefly marred by a physical altercation between Donar’s Sean Cunningham and Leiden’s Mohamed Kherrazi. The players began shoving each other and the referee ejected them both from the game. Despite the incident, Donar still cruised to a win. Curry was the top scoring player with 26 points and Thomas Koenis scored 13 points and made 18 rebounds.
The championship is the first prize the team has won in an outstanding season. The other teams in the league have not presented much competition for Donar and the team has excelled on the European level as well. On Wednesday, Donar will face Montenegro’s Mornar Bar in a sold-out MartiniPlaza in the quarter finals of the FIBA Europe Cup. Mornar Bar beat Donar by six points in their last match.