The Belgian cats have taken a big step towards the World Cup in Australia. Gates won the first qualifying round against Puerto Rico 98-65. “We did it collectively, especially the relationship between Emma Meesman and Kiara Linskans was great,” said national coach Valerie Demory.
Patrick Solomons in Washington
Valerie Demori, the new French national coach of the Belgian Gates, praised the performance of the cats in a press conference: “We got off to a good start with the attack. We were able to unravel the fast breaks and were immediately on the lookout. My players played very well. We dominated for a few minutes from the start of the game until the end. Everyone on this team has their share and now we can build for the future. The return of Hind Ben Abdelkader is a plus. She joined the group well and it made her feel very welcome. He plays for the team and the team loves it so much.
MVP Kyara Linskens: “Qualification is normal” Kyara Linskens is MVP (Most Valuable Player) with 26 points, 10 rebounds and 5 assists. “I am just happy to be here. This is our final. We had a good game plan and executed it beautifully. Yes, this may be one of my best games for Belgian cats. We are on one foot, but never say no. Puerto Rico can still beat Russia. You never know in basketball. Hope that doesn’t happen, we beat Russia and we definitely qualify for the World Cup.
Emma Meesman: “If you ever wanted to beat America, it could be now”Emma Meesman definitely returned to the schedule with 19 points, 7 rebounds and 7 assists. She looked back with satisfaction at the end of the match and was already looking forward to tonight’s match against the United States. “We’re back to building a team that will be as strong as 2018 in the future. We have a lot of young talent, the World Cup qualifiers are great to give them experience. I do not know if we’re still there this time, but if you ever want to beat the United States, this is great. It could be one of those moments. The United States can certainly create four great teams, “said Emma Meesman. The world number one, the Olympic and world champion, has already been confirmed for the World Cup in Australia (September 22 – October 1). Many superstars (see box) therefore did not qualify for this World Cup in the US capital.
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