Invincible and unapproachable: the status Team USA has enjoyed over the years. A loss against the defending champion was already a foregone conclusion, but with 3 players from Las Vegas still missing after the WNBA Finals, there was hope early on.
But it soon became clear on the field that America was much bigger than its nine for the Belgian Cats. Under the impetus of Jewel Lloyd and top scorer Breanna Stewart (22 points), America started like a hurricane: 11-0.
Maybe even Belgium’s answer. Emma Meesemann may have been on American defense throughout the game, but Vanloo — Belgium’s top scorer — and Allemand brought the Cats into the American lane in no time.
Rimonde looked promising, but the Belgian bowling was quickly nipped in the bud due to a total of 25 card loads. Those multiple turnovers ensured America could continue to keep the Cats at a safe distance.
Halfway through the 2nd half it became clear that the stunt was no longer possible and Belgium switched to saving mode. The starting players got more rest than usual and a sharp Lisova used it to show themselves with keen defense and some good scores.
In the end, there was one more moment of panic when Linskens had to go to the sidelines after the fight with a sore knee. Hopefully it will be of no consequence to Belgium, as the Cats will need Linskens’ centimeters in the rest of the tournament.
Final score: 87-72, it’s intense against South Korea tomorrow at 5 am Belgium time. To realize ambitions you really need to win, at least a place in the quarter-finals.
Belgium: Vanloo 13, Allemant 10, Linskens 9, Lissoa 9, Delray 8, Ben Abdelgader 6, Becky Massey 5, Billy Massey 5, Meesman 4, Recimond 3, Joris 0, Ramat 0
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