What a demonstration of the Belgian Cats against North Macedonia in the Leuven Sportoase. The debuting French national coach Rachid Meziane saw the Cats unpack with a monster victory in the European Championship qualifier. Immediately 2 out of 3 for Emma Meesseman and her teammates. Sunday, again in Leuven, to confirm against Bosnia and Herzegovina is the message. If the Cats do that, they will stay on track for the European Championship in 2023 and the Olympic Games in 2024.
What a dream start the many fans of the Belgian Cats got. Julie Vanloo conducted, Kyara Linskens swung and Emma Meesseman shone. That resulted in a swirling atmosphere in a …22-0 lead. North Macedonia was transfixed and only scored a first field goal after more than six minutes. The Cats had a 34-3 lead after an amazing first quarter. In the first half, all twelve Cats came on the parquet and the demonstration continued smoothly. From 45-9 the collective went to a 57-16 score half way through. North Macedonia, only number 80 in the world ranking, was no more than a bite against a frisky Belgian Cats.
Superb debut Nastja Claessens
The 17-year-old and debuting Nastja Claessens fired bombs and Ine Joris succeeded in the century: 101-38. The pinnacle of a fantastic basketball evening in the swirling Leuven Sportoase.
Germany beat Bosnia and Herzegovina 97-58. That means that in group A there are now three leaders. The group winners of the ten groups are directly qualified for the European Championship 2023 in Slovenia/Israel. The four best runners-up of the eight groups of four are also allowed to go to the European Championship. The Cats, who won bronze in 2017 and 2021, are going for a fourth consecutive Eurobasket.
Belgium 112 – 41 North Macedonia (34-3, 23-13, 24-10, 31-15)
Belgium: Ramette 4, Delaere 12, Resimont 9, Meesseman 17, Linskens 14, Claessens 11, Ben Abdelkader 14, Becky Massey 6, Lisowa 4, Billie Massey 0, Vanloo 9, Joris 9