Belgian Cats shine at the European Championship and go against Italy for the third group victory in a row: “There is a positive vibe”

Emma Meesseman is currently the best player at this European Championship. — © BELGIUM

The Belgian Cats shine at this European Championship and are looking for a third consecutive victory in the last group match today (2:15 PM Belgian time, live on Sporza) and against Italy (FIBA 14). With a win, it is always directly qualified for the quarterfinals. However, there is also another scenario where the Cats have to contest the jump-off tomorrow. Elimination after the first round is no longer an issue.

Patrick Ceulemans in Tel Aviv

The Belgian Cats shine at this European Championship. They also receive an open cloth from international observers and the fans. Julie Allemand and her teammates once again deliver fantastic basketball. 37 assists (new European Championship record) in the first match against Israel and 30 in the second match against the Czech Republic. It makes the Cats attractive basketball on the parquet. Everyone goes through the wall for each other. “We have a positive vibe. Two out of two is nice, but we realize that we have nothing in our pocket yet. The momentum is there and now we have to try to finish strongly in this group,” says tastemaker Julie Vanloo.

Jij Allemand sparkles in first place at this European Championship with an average of 9.5 assists. Emma Meesseman is the top shooter at this European Championship with an average of 23.5 points and is also the best player in Eurobasket with an index of 34. Julie Allemand is in third place with a rating of 24.5. Good figures and the Belgian Cats are on track for a third medal ever at a European Championship and for qualification for the Olympic qualifying tournament (February 2024).

Julie Allemand counts the most assists on Eurobasket and goes v — © BELGIUM

Watch out for Italy

Still, it remains to be careful against Italy today. They lost somewhat surprisingly to the Czech Republic (FIBA 23), but put things in order with an 88-68 win against Israel (FIBA 49). The star player of the team is the 27-year-old and 1m87 tall Cecilia Zandalasini (Virtus Bologna) who has an average of 21.5 points, 6 rebounds and 6 assists. In addition to some experienced players, Martina Bestagno (32, Schio/Euroleague Women) and Laura Spreafico (Bizkaia/Spain), it has some young up-and-coming talents. “There is indeed a strong batch on the way. I therefore expect Italy to be at the top of European basketball again in the immediate future,” said Antonia Delaere. The Belgian Cat, who competed at Venice last season, will meet five teammates today: Mariella Santucci (26), Martina Fassina (24), Lorela Cuba (24), Francesca Pan (26) and Matilde Villa (18).

The Belgian Cats, who only collected 59 points in their first match and 41 points in the second, will have to deliver another great performance. If the Cats win, they are always qualified for the quarterfinals (Thursday in the Slovenian capital Ljubljana). With a defeat by less than 22 points and a win against Israel against the Czech Republic, it is also group winner and qualified. In the event of a defeat today by 23 points or more in combination with Israel’s win against the Czech Republic, it will have to play a jump-off match towards the quarterfinals in the Tel Aviv Arena on Monday. “The Israel-Czech match is after ours, so we shouldn’t count and go for a win against Italy,” said Julie Allemand.

Stand poule B: 1. Belgium 2-4; 2. Czech Republic 2-3; 3. Italy 2-3; 4. Israel 2-2Program group B (Belgian time): 2:15 pm Belgium-Italy; 17.00 Israel-Czech Republic

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