What a stunt. It was only their first world cup ever, and they had no less than eight points difference, winning runner up at the worlds in Spain to push. In the slotseconde happened what nobody thought possible: it went from 70-63 to 72-63 thanks to a point from Emma Meesseman. The “Jaaaaaaaaaa! Jaaaaaaaa!” from the co-commentator Caroline De Roose was to goose bumps. “A historic achievement”, enjoyed coach Philip Mestdagh.
Mestdagh was just like his players up in the clouds after the 72-63 victory against Spain on Tuesday at the world cup vrouwenbasket in Tenerife. Thanks to the victory by more than 8 points difference placed the Belgian Cats directly for the quarter-finals on their very first world cup ever.
“I am very proud of my players. We had in advance signed on for a victory by one point and second place, so we are against China or rather even Senegal could play,” said Mestdagh. “But we realised that we well in the match were after a quarter of an hour. At the halftime we had a seven point lead. So We had to make a decision, knowing that Spain is a sure defence would strengthen. What it has done, but with many errors. To the end, we are fully gone. Spain came back to 7 points and we still had with 1.9 seconds to go. We had a good ‘play’ and then Emma (Meesseman) that the basket in which we place to the top eight of the world.”
After the bronze medal in Prague last year, when we for the first time since ten years the final stage played a European championship, Belgium in the quarter-finals of a world cup at his first participation. And that against Spain, olympic vicekampioen, runner up at the worlds and European champion.
“It was already a historic performance in Prague,” said Mestdagh. “Today we provide a new pinnacle of achievement, but also because of the way. We have a huge intensity and played with a lot of maturity. We are very happy for the Belgian basketball.”
Heroine Meesseman: “Explosion of joy”
Emma Meesseman was the decisive point in the last second the heroine of the evening. With only a 1.1 second on the clock, she walked smartly away from a throw-in from the side and clean them the ball in one motion. “At that time, we were really concentrated. We wanted to be as focused as possible, despite the atmosphere and the bet, on the implementation of the phase of play as the coach had asked. He thought that that could work,” said Meesseman about her last action. “I remember the sequel so not good, as there was the euphoria of the supporters, the players, the coach. It was such an explosion of joy.”
Despite statistics which are slightly less exceptional than usual, is Meesseman the second best player from the group stage of the world cup after the Australian Liz Cambage. Meesseman gets, on average, to $ 24.3 points, Cambage 30,3. She made the most rebounds so far, with 13.3 on average per match.
Meesseman scored nineteen points and made eight rebounds against Spain. “We were already for the contest, convinced that something was possible. We had Spain been well studied and already against Japan (Sunday, ed) we played with a lot of energy, by several times to return in the match. We have that energy today. This is historic for the Belgian vrouwenbasketbal. It is incredible that so many people have come here.”
Ann Wauters: “No words for”
Ann Wauters came after the qualification of the Belgian Cats for the quarter-finals of the world cup words. “We had two chances to place us, today (Tuesday) and in the jump-off. We have the chance today to be played. That is amazing. I have no words for!”, she responded after the stuntzege against Spain.
“From the beginning, we were well in the match. We felt that anything was possible. I felt also good in the warm up. Today we got our chance and we have caught up. Spain has really played to win but we have the opportunities exploited.”
Wauters also had words of praise for Emma Meesseman, that the decisive basket made. “I had shortly before made a mistake and thought ‘Oh no, it is not true”. But Emma was exceptional. She was excellent aangespeeld by Kim Mestdagh and was so pretty. Now we are going to really enjoy this historic moment for the Belgian basketball!”
Kim Mestdagh: “Historical Belgium”
Kim Mestdagh had 21 points, a large share in the victory against European champion Spain. “This is just fantastic,” she said afterwards. “It was the perfect scenario that we are in the slotseconde the basket to create us in the top eight of the world place. We said in advance that we are for the victory would play and then would see how the match would proceed.”
“We have forty minutes to achieve this. Against Japan we were in the final stage, maybe some maturity deficit but against Spain we did the on experience. This is historic for Belgium!”
Our country now play against the winner of the game between France and Turkey for a place in the semi-finals.
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