Belgian Lions open their European Championship basketball with stunt victory in and against host country Georgia | European Basketball Championship

Belgian Lions open their European Championship basketball with stunt victory in and against host country Georgia | European Basketball Championship
Belgian Lions open their European Championship basketball with stunt victory in and against host country Georgia | European Basketball Championship

The 1st European Championship assignment of the Belgian Lions was no laughing matter. With Georgia, the Belgian men faced one of the host countries of the tournament and, moreover, the Georgians could count on 3 players over 2.10m.

But the defensive organization of the Lions was right and after a hesitant start it was actually the Belgians who took command. Bako had a hard time under plates, but saw how his teammates from behind the three-point line provided a small bonus at halftime: 38-32.

In the 2nd half, Georgia stepped up the defensive line and the NBA players Bitadze and Mamukelashvili also appeared more and more in attack. Belgium answered collectively, with three-pointers from, among others, Vanwijn and the strong Mwema.

The steadily increasing burden of errors seemed to break Belgium sour in the final quarter, in which Georgia closed the gap from the free-throw line. Mamukelashvili and naturalized American McFadden appeared to be propelling their team to victory with the support of the fans.

But the Lions stayed cool and dragged an extension out of the fire. The strong Belgian defense, with Gillet as the star, limited Georgia to only 6 points in the extra 5 minutes. Record international Tabu had the last word with a bomb 3 seconds before time, Georgia’s ultimate three-pointer fell wide.

Belgium will start its European Championship with a great victory against a strong Georgia, that the group stage can play for its own people in Tbilisi. The Belgians now have one day to recover from this grueling opener. On Saturday afternoon, Montenegro awaits, which narrowly lost to Turkey today.

Belgium: Mwema 14, Tabu 14, Bako 11, Lecomte 10, Obasohan 9, De Zeeuw 8, Gillet 6, Vanwijn 6, Tumba 1, Libert 0. Bleijenbergh and Bratanovic did not play.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Belgian Lions open European Championship basketball stunt victory host country Georgia European Basketball Championship

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