Belgian Lions stunt against world champion Spain, 1/8th European Championship finals are in sight: “This is emotional”

The Belgian Lions opened the first quarter very strong in defense. Pierre-Antoine Gillet brought anger and with a sharp Manu Lecomte it went to 7-7 after a 7-3 deficit and with a bomb from Retin Obasohan to a 9-11 lead. A strong Belgium had a deserved 11-15 bonus after the first quarter. The brothers Willy and Juancho Hernangomez (both NBA) did not let go and also put things in order with Lorenzo Brown. From 19-17 it went lightning fast after a 15-0 Spanish intermediate sprint to 26-17. The Belgian Lions were not impressed and with a lion’s heart they found the connection again. A swinging Manu Lecomte, power from Jean-Marc Mwema and a three-pointer from Vrenz Bleijenbergh ensured the connection after 28-23: 26-22 and 33-32 halfway.

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Spain became burly, Willy Hernangomez threw his elbows and Ismael Bako had to go to the bench with a wound in the face. The medical staff patched up the center of the Belgian Lions so that he could return. Jonathan Tabu also had to be replaced with an eye injury. His party was immediately over. In that third quarter, the Belgian Lions continued to dominate. Hans Vanwijn dropped three-pointers and from 39-43 it went to a 54-57 bonus after three quarters.

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Dario Gjergja remains especially modest after the magnificent performance of the Belgian Lions. — © BELGA

“We look at it match by match”

The final quarter was nerve wracking. Spain felt wet, the Belgian Lions smelled the stunt. From 67-68 it went with a bomb by Pierre-Antoine Gillet to 73-74. Ismael Bako (10 points, 9 rebounds) dominated the paint and Manu Lecomte distributed and dropped important bombs. The Belgian stunt victory was therefore in a definitive fold after 73-78.

“This is emotional. These guys have worked hard for it. We have the lead for 35 minutes on the scoreboard and so we deserve this win. Qualification? It comes into view, nothing more. Now we have to rest, recuperate and prepare for Tuesday’s clash against the strong Turkey,” national coach Dario Gjergja remained very modest after the stunt victory of the “small” Belgium against world champions Spain.

Manu Lecomte led the Belgian Lions at the European Championship to stunt against world champion Spain — © BELGA

Monday is the day of rest, Tuesday awaits strong Turkey (FIBA 16) and Wednesday on the final day of play Bulgaria (FBIA 52). Provided one more win, Belgium can even finish in the top-3. Of the four groups (Tbilisi, Milan, Prague, Cologne) of six, the top four have qualified for the Final 16 which takes place in the German capital Berlin. “Yes, we feel the 1/8th finals, but keep looking at it step by step. Trying to win one more game next week,” said Lecomte (20 points, 5 points, 4 assists).

Spain-Belgium 73-83

Quartz: 11-15, 22-17, 19-25, 19-26

Belgium: (29 out of 60 shots, of which 11 out of 25 three-pointers, 14 out of 20 free throws and 25 errors) LECOMTE 8-12, GILLET 9-5, VANWIJN 2-6, BAKO 2-8, OBASOHAN 5-6, Bleijenbergh 3-0, Bratanovic , De Zeeuw 2-0, Libert 0-2, Mwema 0-6, Tabu 0-6, Tumba 1-0

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The article is in Dutch

Tags: Belgian Lions stunt world champion Spain #18th European Championship finals sight emotional

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