Stunt of size: Belgian Lions beat basketball superpower Spain

Stunt of size: Belgian Lions beat basketball superpower Spain
Stunt of size: Belgian Lions beat basketball superpower Spain

At the European Championships in Tbilisi, Georgia, the Belgian Lions defeated world champions Spain 73-83 on Sunday. The Lions are doing a golden business for qualifying. Belgium has already won two of its three matches at the European Championship.

For the first time this tournament, national coach Dario Gjergja started with Pierre-Antoine Gillet in the starting five. He immediately dropped a bomb and blocked Willy Hernangomez, the NBA player of the New Orleans Pelicans. Unexpectedly, Belgium ended the first quarter with a lead: 11-15.

Bako would have already dunked and so did De Zeeuw at the start of quarter two: 11-17. Pradilla and Jaime Fernandez equalized. And under the impulse of Brizuela, La Familia, as the Spanish basketball players call themselves, posted a dry 15-0 intermediate sprint. Lecomte, Bleijenbergh (in his first European Championship minutes ever) and Obasohan reacted and Belgium held on: 33-32 at half time.

Spain’s expected intermediate sprint was also delayed in the second half. Mwema and Lecomte continued to play well. Bako pulled out with a third Belgian dunk, but had to get off after an ugly elbow from Willy Hernangomez. It was still going well with Bako on the couch. Hans Vanwijn, who will be working in Paris next season with Nanterre, scored two three-pointers. The world champion tried to break free from the Lions, but even after the third quarter there was still no Spanish lead on the board: 53-57.

Bako back on the field, Obasohan and Tabu gave Belgium a five-point lead with three-pointers: 60-65 with 7 minutes to play. Willy Hernangomez, who would become Spain’s top scorer with 18 points, gave his team the lead, but Obasohan and Gillet did not give up. The 1m80-small Lecomte outsmarted all the big Spaniards and the Lions were still five points ahead when the last two minutes started. Scariolo had to reach for his last time-out, but that didn’t help. Lecomte with the three-pointer and Bako with forty seconds left to play a ten-point lead on the board. 73-83, which immediately became the final result. Spain lost its first match at the European Championship.

Qualifying for the final stages in Berlin is not yet mathematically certain, but the Lions are now in a very good position to play the last two games in the group stage against Turkey on Tuesday and Bulgaria on Wednesday.

The article is in Dutch

Tags: Stunt size Belgian Lions beat basketball superpower Spain

NEXT Should Lotto-Soudal fear idleness? Riders are transfer-free in the event of relegation