15 - 25
June 2023
11 Emma Meesseman (BEL)
Game Report
to read

Belgian Cats comeback seals historic first FIBA Women's EuroBasket crown

LJUBLJANA (Slovenia) History was made in Ljubljana as Belgium beat Spain 64-58 to be crowned FIBA Women's EuroBasket champions for the very first time.

Trailing by as many as 10 points in the contest, their dream appeared to be fading, but a strong last phase of the game and Kyara Linskens having a career night delivered a landmark victory.

Turning point: Down by 10 points and looking like they might be running out of gas, Belgium dug deep, worked their way back and when Emma Meesseman stroked a triple to give them the first lead of the game at 56-55, it was a momentum-shifter. The confidence flowed through the Cats and they were the better team from that point onwards.

TCL Player of the Game: Kyara Linskens chose the biggest game in Belgium's history to have her best ever game in a national team jersey. She torched Spain with as she torched Spain with an enormous double-double of 18 points and 15 rebounds, as well as 3 blocks.

Stats Don't Lie: Belgium held Spain to one solitary fast break basket - something that contributed to them holding Spain to just 58 points - the most important stat of all.

The Bottom Line:
Belgium showed incredible basketball in this tournament but also resilience and belief by the bucket load. They could have thought it was not going to be their night but they came together to get it done. Emma Meesseman supported Linskens with a massive 24 points, 8 rebounds and 5 steals which was so important. They always said this was their title to win - and they did it.

Spain fell short but considering they were completely written off by some people after losing their opener, to get the silver medal was some compensation and a comeback. Meanwhile there was a slice of history for Spanish star Alba Torrens who passed Amaya Valdemoro to become the All-Time top Spanish scorer at the event.

They said: ""I think we dont realize the performance we did tonight. I am super proud to be the coach of this team. I thank Federation for trusting me. It feels like destiny our paths crossed and we get the gold medal. It was a special game. I am also so proud of Emma (Meesseman) as she has the talent but also because of the person that she is. She finally has the gold medal with the national team and she deserves it. I am proud I am her coach - but also the coach of all her amazing teammates." Belgium head coach, Rachid Meziane.

"I think we were controlling the game for 35 minutes so it is a pity for us. But I think we are going to give the right value to this medal in time. We came from not playing at the World Cup and going out in the Quarter-Finals at the last EuroBasket. With a new generation coming to the senior team and for us to bounce back and play in this Final is huge. We are Spain and we always want to win, but I think it is something still special for this group and for the future." - Spanish guard, Silvia Dominguez