Basketball: Belgium easily defeats Denmark (88-65) and validates its ticket for the Euro
The Belgian national team approached this Saturday the last qualifying window for Euro 2022 in the sanitary “bubble” of Vilnius, in Lithuania, where the teams of group C are gathered. In the event of victory against Denmark this Saturday, the Belgian Lions could validate their ticket for a fifth consecutive Eurobasket and also secure first place in the pool, offering them protected status during the Euro draw.
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Belgian base five: J. TABU, R. OBASOHAN, JM. MWEMA, M. DE ZEEUW, I. BAKO.
1st quarter (24-17)
Belgium leaves largely favorite on paper against a Danish team deprived of its star Gabriel Lundberg, who has just signed with CSKA Moscow. On the Belgian side, Ismaël Bako made his comeback in the national team and was very quickly threatening via a dunk and an alley-oop at the start of the game. Denmark’s response comes mainly from the hands of Darboe, a player who briefly passed through Charleroi in preparation for the pre-season. But the Belgian collective already manages to widen the gap thanks to a solid defense and well-negotiated offensive transitions (20-9). Retin Obasohan is the best Belgian scorer of the first quarter with 10 points to his credit without even giving the impression of forcing.
2nd quarter (16-17)
It is the turn of the Belgian bench to speak on the floor of the Avia Solutions Group Arena but it is Denmark which stands out by sticking to the score via a large percentage of success behind the three-point line ( 27-26). It is by tightening the defense that the Lions again manage to make the hole by continuing with rhythmic attacks and going to cause faults like Lecomte, perfect for free throws. On placed play, Belgium has a harder time facing the Danish defense, which varies between individual and zone marking. The too low percentage displayed by the Belgians from a distance allows Denmark to stay in the game when it comes time to join the locker room (40-34). Darboe remains the most dangerous player on the field with 15 points and 3 assists.
3rd quarter (26-15)
Maxime De Zeeuw directly gives the impetus at the opening of the third quarter via a quick 3-point basket, imitated by Jean-Marc Mwema and Retin Obasohan a few moments later. What to give a little confidence to the Lions even if Zohore, the strong Danish interior, likes to plant a few big dunks on the Belgian defense (52-38). Denmark again manages to get closer via a triple from the inevitable Darboe followed by three free throws from Mortensen following a foul by Maxime De Zeeuw (52-44). Retin Obasohan, author of his third foul, must join the bench. Boukichou brings him a few points in fixation in the racket but is also challenged defensively by the physical strength of the opposing pivots. But with a success found at a distance, the Lions manage to widen the gap (66-49).
4th quarter (22-16)
The Belgian Lions can this time play completely liberated and continue their momentum by not slacking off in defense while having fun on the offensive side. Manu Lecomte is the second Belgian player to cross the 10-point mark in this match, in addition to being the team’s best passer. Bako was then the third element to reach the ten. The Danes seem to have given up somewhat and the score even turns to correction. Dario Gjergja took the opportunity to give Akyazili and Schwartz a few minutes, the two least used players. Qualification and first place in the group are therefore in the pocket for the Belgian Lions who will face the Czech Republic on Monday without any pressure.
Belgium : 22/40 (2pts), 12/28 (3pts), 8/11 (lfs), 38 rbs, 20 ass, 26 ftes.
DE ZEEUW 8, MWEMA 5, BAKO 10, OBASOHAN 19, TABU 8, Vanwijn 4, Boukichou 8, Gillet 5, Lecomte 12, Libert 9, Schwartz 0, Akyazili 0.