In the Basketball World Cup, the Belgian Katz put Puerto Rico aside with great difficulty. The Belgians did not reach their usual level, but managed to pull the sheet in an urgent final.
Snack before rest day. That must be Puerto Rican for Belgian cats. In their last three encounters, Belgium has always treated the Puerto Rican women in a strong bulge. Earlier this year, the difference was still more than 30 points in the World Cup qualifiers.
But Puerto Rico is playing with complicated freedom in this World Cup and has already stunned in its opening match by winning by a large margin over Bosnia. So Belgium was warned, although it did not immediately appear on the field.
The Belgian Cats played sloppy and were constantly searching for their own identity in the subpar first half. Allemand had a hard time setting the beat and Meesseman also couldn’t perform, only the very strong Linskens rose (far) above average. In the first half, the score was: 31-31.
Faith in their abilities grew with Puerto Rico, who began looking for a second stunt in the second half. The dodgy Guirantes was a disaster for the Belgian defence, which was very lax at times.
Fortunately for the cats, there were always dependable Linskens, who scored at the important moments and also did very well at bouncing. When Allemand and Delare also managed to strike at the right moments, the Belgian side finally fell: 68-65.
So Belgium is doing what it had to do, but the performance against Puerto Rico will instead raise more question marks than give an extra confidence boost. Cats can use their rest day to sort it all out.
At night from Sunday to Monday (Belgian time) they have to work again. Then Bosnia is the opponent. Naturalized WNBA cheerleader Jonquel Jones has surprisingly lost all his games so far and will undoubtedly be poised to take on the Belgian Cats.
Belgium: Linskens 24, Delare 13, Allemand 9, Vanloo 8, Meesseman 6, Lisowa 4, Billie Massey 4, Ben Abdelkader 0, Becky Massey 0. Joris, Ramette and Resimont did not play.
Al Watani coach Demouri: “A very difficult match”
Victory is inside, but it wasn’t pretty at all. National coach Valerie Demouri mainly referred to the Belgian’s shot percentage after that. “It was a very difficult match because we were able to score only 21 percent of our three-pointers,” the Frenchman said. “Fortunately, we were on the appointment defensively.”
Demory also praised Kyara Linskens, who will soon be able to welcome him to Montpellier. “She did a great job with the rebounds and she had scores inside,” the national team coach said. “He has done us a lot of good.”
“I love having Chiara in ‘Paint’. She has very good hands. That’s why I brought her to Montpellier. I want to let her grow strong.”
The Emma Misseman who couldn’t excel in this tournament was Emma Misseman. The Cats player managed to do her job with rebounds and assists, but kept it at a mediocre 6 points.
“I have no explanation for it. She takes her open shots and at the moment she doesn’t fall. This will undoubtedly frustrate her. Fortunately, Emma is very smart and she made up for that with her rebounds (12 pieces, red) and her passes (11).”
Delaere: “One of our worst matches”
- Antonia Delayer: “I’m glad we won. I think this was one of our worst matches with the Belgian Cats. We lost a lot. It wasn’t us. Anyway: we won and we are almost certain of the quarter-finals, which is the most important.”
“I don’t have any explanation for our performance. Maybe it was because now we had to play in the evening and we’ve been waiting all day? We should try to forget this as soon as possible and look forward.”
“The day of rest will benefit us all, because 3 matches in 3 days is really difficult. Then you wait for Bosnia, who have already beaten us twice. We will be motivated and do everything we can to win.”
- Chiara Linskins: “It was a very difficult match. We knew Puerto Rico was a different team than last time. They were strong and had good shots, but the most important thing for us was to win today.”
“My own performance? I tried to do my job and am happy to help the team. I played a little less yesterday, so I had more energy today.”
“I am convinced that we can beat Bosnia on Monday. We are better and I have no doubts about that. We will do our best to qualify for the quarter-finals.”
- Julie Vanlow: “It wasn’t the same Puerto Rico the last few years. It was a really tough game. But we did our job and it’s good that we won.”
“We did a lot of stupid little things. What was he about? Maybe he wasn’t too focused or maybe tired from having to play the third day in a row? I don’t know. We’ll look at the pictures again for the right lessons of pulling.”
“We are also very excited to beat Bosnia, who were not very good in the tournament. Now is the time to beat them. Then China, it will be difficult, but we have to keep going.”
Linskens: “I tried to do my job”
Fanlo: ‘We did a lot of stupid little things’
Diller: ‘The day of rest will benefit us all’
Assistant coach Pierre Cornea: “I have to go crazy to reach the quarter-finals”
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