ANTWERP, BELGIUM – With the support of another enthusiastic home crowd of over 7,000 fans in Antwerp, the Belgian Cats defeated Senegal 97-66 to make their second appearance at the Olympics.
More Cats supporters are expected to turn up for Sunday’s final qualifying match against Nigeria, and the party could last all weekend.
Belgium, who just made their Olympic debut at Tokyo 2020, head to France to improve on their seventh-place finish. I also have painful memories of enduring the heartache during the quarterfinal match against Japan, which is said to be one of the best matches in women’s history.
turning point: To their credit, Senegal made it tough for Belgium in the first half, but Belgium stepped up a gear after the break. They eliminated any chance of an upset with a devastating 21-6 run.
TCL Player of the Game: It was fitting that on the night Belgium celebrated their qualification, it was their leader, Emma Messeman, who came up with the goodies. She finished with an impressive 32 points, making 13 of 18 from the field. The forward also collected seven rebounds, two assists, and two steals.
Statistics don’t lie: He has 34 assists for Belgium. Wow, what a number!
Conclusion: There was always something of a basketball hangover after the intensity of the dramatic loss against the United States 24 hours earlier. And it was proven. But once Belgium took it out of their system, their stature and influence increased and Senegal could no longer live with them.
Much of that credit went to Messeman, but playmaker Julie Allemand, who returned from injury and had an astounding 14 assists, also contributed.
While the African side can be proud of their play in the first two quarters, the second half of the contest exposed their difference in class with the FIBA Women’s EuroBasket 2023 winners.
they said: “I think we started really well and set the tone. It was important not to give Senegal any hope. I never thought we could do this (Olympic appearance) twice for such a small country. This is something very special.’ Let’s do it again with this group. You can dream big in Paris, but let’s enjoy it first. ” Belgian winger Antonia Deler
“We treated this game like the finals, but with the pressure that comes with finals. We got back to our game, shared the ball in the second half, and quickly put the game away with a 3 in the third quarter. “The intention now is not to spoil the party for Nigeria, but to play another good game in front of a great crowd and win more hearts.” Belgian playmaker Rachid Mejian.
“I think it was a pretty tough game. We gave ourselves a chance. We fought hard against the European champions in front of the crowd and gave our best. We continued to fight until the end. We gave ourselves a chance to represent Senegal. All I had in mind was that I was there.”We have to fight every time for the jersey that we wear and the flag that flies on that jersey. ” Senegalese national team player Mathilde Diop.
“Honestly, I’m happy. First of all, it’s great to play in this environment with so many people. It’s not easy to play against the European champions after yesterday. I felt it physically today, We were playing against one of the best teams in the world.” Senegal national team coach Alberto Carlos Antuna Real