Resimont: "Now I have to take the initiative"
SOPRON (FIBA U18 Women’s European Championship 2016) - Heading into the final period of her team’s topsy-turvy Round of 16 match against Croatia, Belgian forward Laure Resimont had missed her only two shots. But she came through when it mattered.
She scored her team’s last three baskets, grabbing a big offensive rebound with four minutes remaining to get on the board with a put-back. With less than two minutes left, she established great post position and bullied her way to the basket, but Matea Tadic tied the game up again moments later.
The tension mounted, and Billie Massey’s three-pointer with 10 seconds to go was off target. There was Resimont, soaring for a vital rebound in traffic and quickly getting the ball back on the rim. It dropped, and Josipa Silov’s final effort bounced clear to spark wild celebrations from the Belgian bench as their place in the Quarter-Final was secured.
The southpaw forward, who plays for Belgian club BBC Sint Katelijne Waver under the tutelage of Belgium’s coach here, Arvid Diels, has played an impressive part in her country’s three wins so far, and she cites her involvement in the FIBA U19 Women’s World Championship 2015 as playing a crucial role in her progression.
"I played several countries, and there’s a big difference between the teams. There are teams that play zone defence, teams that play man-to-man. It helps you to learn to play against everything," said the talented big of her experiences in Chekov, where Belgium finished an admirable sixth. "Also the environment gives you a great feeling, a big boost, so that’s very good - it’s helped me a lot."
Coach Diels praised his forward’s resilience in coming through after a slow start: "She has the right mentality… There were more possibilities for her to make her post-ups - it didn’t work out, but she kept on working to finish it inside with an offensive rebound."
Belgium will play Latvia on Friday for a place in the Semi-Finals, and coach Diels warned that there is more to come: "Playing in the Quarter-Final is something extra, so I hope for her she can show her three-point shot, her drives and her rebounds."
Resimont herself is more confident after a successful season domestically: "In the last season I made a really big step up with my club. Last year I was a player who needed to move a lot, now I have to take the initiative. It’s a big difference, because there’s a lot of pressure - you want to help your team so you just keep trying."
A place in the final four would be a historic achievement for Belgium, only their second trip to that stage in recent years after the glorious run to gold inspired by Emma Meesseman in 2011. Their quest continues on Friday.