Inspired Belgium Subdue Greece

15.08.2011

U16 WOMEN

Belgium opened the second round of competition at the U16 European Championship for Women with a 55-37 victory over Greece in Cagliari.

The Greeks' struggles from behind the arc, where they made just 2/14 three-points attempts, proved costly but the Belgians full-speed transition game was once again hugely effective as they took a step towards a place in the quarter-finals out of Group E.

"We just play our game," said guard Hind Ben Abdelkader, who had a game-high 16 points. "We get our on the fast break, we run, we're intense on defence and we concentrate the whole game. If we have a secret, that's it."

A 10-0 first quarter run sent Belgium clear for good and although Greece slowed their momentum to cut the gap to 23-16 at half-time, they could not hold back the tide in the third and were completely submerged.

With 9:41 left, Laeticia Mpoyi hit a jumper to send the young Belgians 51-22 ahead and although there was a Greek rally, it came too late.

It capped an impressive 24 hours of Belgium's youth teams after their Under-18 side won its European title, giving their younger counterparts an extra lift. "What the Under-18s did was super," said Ben Abdelkader. "For a small country in basketball terms to win that championship was immense. We're building a reputation and I hope we can do even more."

On Tuesday, they will face another huge test against Russia, another strong contender.

"Russia is going to be a hard match for us but we will play the way that we have practiced," Ben Abdelkader added. "They're strong so we'll need to be focused the whole game."

 


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