After five years of resounding success under national coach Philippe Mustdagh, the Belgian Cats will be looking for new victories in Bosnia on Thursday (8pm). This time with Valerie Demory (58) as the new sports chief. The French coach receives the simple task of the federation to push the cats further to the top of the world. The first task in the context of qualifying for the European Championship towards Eurobasket 2023 is a difficult one. “It will be a war in Bosnia,” the new Belgian national cat trainer realizes.
Patrick Siolimans in Sarajevo
The Belgian Cats, after two bronze medals at the European Championships (2017 and 2021), fourth place at the 2018 World Cup and quarter-finals at their first Olympics last summer, have moved up to sixth place in the world. classification. The next targets are the 2022 World Cup in Australia (the qualifying round in February), the 2023 European Championships in Israel/Slovenia and the 2024 Olympics in Paris. Valerie Demory has to fulfill this ambition with the “new look” of the Belgian cats. The Frenchman, who has played no less than 121 matches for his country, and has starred with major teams such as Limoges and Pau Orthiz, has been working as a coach since 2000.
Successfully, because he has already won three times in France and in women’s basketball (in 2019 with Lyon and Julie Allemand), four times in the French Cup, and also won the title of coach of the year twice. He combines the job of a national cat coach and that of a Montpellier club coach. An excellent player in France, he plays in the Euroleague and is in the group with Russia’s Ekaterinburg Emma Misman. “We played Emma a few weeks ago. We spoke for a while, but I don’t have to tell you that our programs are very busy. Last weekend the competition was still going, so I was only able to complete four training sessions with the Belgian cats,” said coach Valerie. Demore on his arrival in Sarajevo: “This is in addition to getting to know the crew, as well as some one-on-one conversations with the players.”
His impression of the selection with five new players compared to the Tokyo Olympics (En Juris (20), Nastja Classes (16), Maxwella Lissua (20), Laure Resmont (23) and Becky Massey (21))) is already clear. positive. “A hungry group with a lot of potential. I am proud to be able to coach the Belgian national team on my first overseas assignment. Will I make changes? My predecessor Philipp Moustadagh did a great job and now I want to add my personal touch to that. With fast basketball coupled with aggressive defense is my philosophy If there is more time next summer and hopefully we can prepare for the World Cup, there will be more time to train and improve the automation.”
Ten group winners and four second bests after EC 2023The road to the European Championship is not an easy one for the Belgian cats. Of the ten groups, the group winners and only four best runners-up qualify directly for 2023. North Macedonia (79th in the world rankings) shouldn’t be a problem, Germany (40th in the world rankings) is the emerging with plenty of young talent. The country in a ball Women’s basketball and Bosnia (27th in the world rankings) are strong competitors.
The Cats lost to Bosnia at the European Championships in June. With Jonkel Jones from the Bahamas, they probably have the best player in the world. The powerful 27-year-old striker with a 98 meter tall is Emma Meissmann’s teammate of Yekaterinburg and MVP (Connecticut Sun) of the WNBA last summer. “Cutting it is difficult. But if you score thirty points and we can limit the rest, there are certainly possibilities,” said Valerie Demore, the national coach, the national team coach. However, if the “Belgium Cats” want to be sure of the European Championship, group victories will come in handy. The first test for the cats under the new national coach will follow on Thursday.Sunday in Kortrijk with the second leg against Germany.
Group A Thursday program: 19.30 Germany – North Macedonia; 20.00 Bosnia-BelgiumTV: Live at Sporza from 8pm