The Belgian basketball women lost 84-76 to Japan in an exhibition game in Saitama on Thursday, in a different room than the one where all games of the Olympic basketball tournament take place. At halftime, the Japanese women led 43-42, and in the last quarter they made the difference.
Emma Meesseman was the best Belgian with 30 points (and 8 rebounds). Kim Mestdagh scored 19 points, Julie Allemand 8 (and 6 assists). Jana Raman (thumb fracture) did not participate in the Cats yet. Serena-Lynn Geldhof, who is only reserve, played surprisingly. Ann Wauters also celebrated her return between the lines.
The Belgian Cats have been in Mito for nine days, close to Tokyo, where the training center of the Belgian Olympic and Interfederal Committee (BOIC) is located. The Belgian women hoped to be able to complete two more preparatory matches before the start of the Olympic tournament on July 27, but the duels against Spain (July 19) and the United States (July 22) were canceled due to the corona restrictions in Japan.
The Cats compete in the Olympics for the first time. In the group stage they will meet Australia (July 27), Puerto Rico (July 30) and China (August 2).