China and Belgium were already certain of their place in the quarter-finals ahead of the match, but the winner of the match would finish the group stage in second place. This position may give a slightly easier opponent in the quarter-final draw.
Without injured Emma Messmann and with Wute van Aert as a fan in the stands, the Belgian cats did an excellent half-hour turn against strong China, who are perhaps making their strongest impression after the United States at the World Cup.
Despite the difference in height, Belgium did well against the larger Chinese ladies in defense and struggled in the collective attack. With Linskens and Vanloo as starting lineups, the halftime gap (35-28) was still playable.
In a strong third quarter, the cats seemed to have more in store. Thanks to Lisowa, Belgium came close by 4 points, but the average Chinese sprinter hurt the Belgian women.
After the Chinese quickly got out of the first blocks in the fourth quarter, the Belgians realized there was no more trick. National coach Demory pulled his key players to the side with the goal of qualifying for the quarter-finals and in the final, China scored a massive 26-point lead: 81-55.
The Belgians thus closed the group stage as No. 3 in their group and competed in the quarter-finals against No. 1 or 2 of the other group. We’ll know who it will be later today.
Belgium: Linskens 14, Vanloo 13, Allemand 7, Lisowa 7, Billie Massey 5, Joris 3, Ben Abdelkader 2, Delaere 2, Ramette 2, Becky Massey 0, Resimont 0
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