An incredible victory for the Belgian Cats
By eliminating the Spanish team in the final minutes of a thrilling final, the Belgian women's basketball team win the European Championship. A historic achievement!
Since its first bronze medal at the 2017 European Championships, this golden generation has been growing. The Belgian Cats had already shown how much they had in store at the Olympics (7th) and at the last two World Cups (4th in 2018 and 5th in 2022) , led by coach Philippe Mestdagh. But never in basketball had a Belgian team managed to climb to the top podium at a major international tournament.
The Belgian women's team had completed the group stage smoothly. To reach this European final, it had to fight to beat the Serbian players in the quarter-finals (93-53 win), then the French in the semi-finals (67-63 win). And for this apotheosis against the Spanish ladies, the Belgians' cards certainly did not lie favourably.
The Belgians outdid themselves in Ljubliana, Slovenia. Although they suffered throughout, they recovered at the start of the last quarter. However, they had been behind on the scoreboard from the start.
Emma Meesseman, voted best player of the tournament, and Julie Allemand at the helm along with Antonia Delaere, Julie Vanloo and Kyara Linskens made up this outstanding big five. After the thriller, a 64-58 result awaited Belgium, reason to celebrate this first European win with dignity.
To Belgian TV channels Emma Meesseman jubilated: 'We have just written the most beautiful page in our history. What we did was extremely difficult. To be the best, we had to beat the best. And we did it!'