The Belgian basketball players won 68-65 against Puerto Rico in their third group match at the World Cup in Sydney, Australia on Saturday. They thus signed their second victory, even if it did not go smoothly.
The Cats started fifth in the FIBA Rankings as favorites against number 17 but couldn’t distance themselves from their opponents throughout the game. White missed too many shots for that. After the first quarter it was 12-11 and at half time the two teams were tied: 31-31.
Upon returning from the locker room, the gap remained minimal, even if the Cats were able to start the last quarter of 10 minutes with a point lead (49-48). This, too, became a puzzle in which national coach Valéry Demory’s side eventually won by three points.
Kyara Linskens became the Belgians’ top scorer with 24 points. She also grabbed 13 rebounds. Antonia Delaere finished with 13 points, Emma Meesseman was good for 12 rebounds, 11 assists and 6 points. The Cats finished with a low score of 38% (29 of 77).
Earlier this week, the Belgian Cats lost their opener to heavy favorites USA 87-72 and then won 84-61 against South Korea. In Group A, they will face Bosnia and Herzegovina on Monday (3:30 a.m.) and Tuesday (5:30 a.m.) against China.
Earlier in the day, the United States won 77-63 against China and were the first to earn a ticket to the quarter-finals. The Koreans were too strong for the Bosnians with 99-66. The top four in the group advance to the quarter-finals.
In 2018, in their first World Cup appearance, the Cats finished just short of the podium in fourth place in Tenerife.
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