Against Mongolia, the nerves were still screaming through the throats of the Belgian Cats at the 3×3 World Cup in Antwerp. Much less against Egypt, because the Belgian foursome made mincemeat of the opposition on their way to a 19-6. Julie Vanloo popped in a couple of two-pointers and led the show.
Patrick Ceulemans, Vincent Van Genechten
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After the nervous win against Mongolia (FIBA 6) the Belgian Cats against Egypt (FIBA 12) brought more than confirmation in a sold-out tub (2,000 spectators) at the Groenplaats.
Julie Vanloo, Ine Joris, Laure Resimont and Becky Massey played around with Egypt and immediately took their distance: 9-2 and 13-2. In the end, the Belgian Cats won 19-6. Due to the forfeit of the Dominican Republic, the 3X3 Cats in group C are immediately sure of a place in the 1/8th finals. If they beat Poland, the world’s number 3, in the final match on Friday, they are group winners and thus directly qualified for the quarter-finals.
Vanloo was allowed to explain it in front of the microphone. She almost got a billboard on her, but the guard had seen the colossus. “Yes siiiiir”, she shouted enthusiastically to the large audience. “During the first game we were so nervous, but that stress is gone now. I could play one more game now, come on. (laughs) The audience plays a huge role, you can’t really explain that. I really enjoy this. Now we have a day to prepare for the game against Poland, a difficult opponent. But we will be ready.”
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The Belgian Lions already opened their World Cup on Tuesday with two smooth victories, successively against Slovenia and Egypt. On Thursday they will compete against the US and Austria.
Twenty countries compete for the world title for both men and women. These countries are divided into four groups of five. The group winner qualifies directly for the quarter-finals. From the quarter-finals there is a knockout formula. The second and third of each group first play the eighth finals. For the numbers four and five, the tournament ends after the group stage.