The Belgians for the Cats did not easily qualify for the quarter-finals of the European Basketball Championship. The Belgian women defeated Turkey by just two points.
After Slovenia beat Bosnia, the match against Turkey became an all-or-nothing game for the Belgian cats. With a win, Belgium will advance directly to the quarter-finals as the group winner, but defeat means disqualification.
There is still a lot of pressure on the kettle, but after one balanced quarter the cats seem to have been exposed to steam. Delaere, Linskens and Hanne Mestdagh were the gunners in service.
When, with halftime approaching, Emma Meissmann also began to find her way, the Belgians snuck away: 31-41 after 20 minutes.
However, Belgium did not manage to continue the good streak in the first half. Offensively it faltered for the cats, while the mighty turkey fought back to the game.
In a nerve-wracking final, the Turks managed to reach three points, but Belgium did not let the qualifying victory slip from their hands.
Thanks to the group win, the Belgian Cats don’t have to play jumps and can go straight to the quarter-finals. They play again on Wednesday in Strasbourg in order to secure a place in the semi-finals. The opponent will be the winner of the jumping duel between Slovenia and the loser of France and Russia.
Belgium shooters: Meesseman 15, Delaere 13, Linskens 11, H.Mestdagh 9, K.Mestdagh 7, Allemand 4, Billie Massey 4
The trembling Belgian cats hold the lock and beat Turkey in the European Championship
Philip Mustadagh: “There is no longer a margin for error”
“Fighting yourself to return to the tournament after an early defeat is one thing, but playing for qualification in the last match is another,” admitted Philip Moustadagh, the national team coach.
“Then there is no margin for error. Every ball, every pass, every shot counts and can make the difference. We either win or go home. There’s no second chance anymore.”
“So I am satisfied and proud of my players for the way they handled, even when Turkey put us under pressure.
“But when we had a 15-point lead in the first half, we had to silence the match and we didn’t.”
After all, Turkey did everything in its power to keep star Emma Messman out of the game. “If they do it right, I have no problem with that. But if the judges do their job, they have to whistle 35 times for a foul on Emma.”
“My players should not be protected, but the correct treatment is allowed,” he concluded.
Allemand: “I played a game less”
- Kim Tadagh: “Winning is the most important thing. It was a strange match. Turkey played a kind of defense we hadn’t seen before. We didn’t know they were going to play like that. Well.”
- Emma Messman: “It was a physical match, with some extra pressure, because a lot depended on it. I’m glad it ended well. We didn’t get the speed we wanted. I don’t know why. Maybe because of the heat. We need to speed up and play a little bit, but because of the Turkish defense we were It takes time to find solutions.We have shown that we are one team and that everyone can be dangerous.
- Julie German: “I wish I could do more to support Emma. I played less game. It was a tough match, the heat really exhausting. We have to be able to give a little bit at a time. We can’t just rely on Emma, everyone has to do their part. Now we can change We’ve seen for a while. We really need that.”
Meesseman: “I’m glad it ended well”
Kim Moustadug: “My three indicators came at the right time”