Belgium, who had won against France in the semi-finals, won against Spain to win a first title at a Euro.
The Belgian basketball players, led by their two leaders Emma Meesseman and Julie Allemand, won their first title of European champions, Sunday in Ljubljana, beating Spain 64 to 58, after a suspenseful final.
Led throughout the game, the Belgians took control four minutes from the end, carried by the 24 points of the pivot Meesseman, one of the best European players currently. In the semi-finals, the Belgians eliminated the French (67-63), who remained in five consecutive finals.
For the coach of Belgium, the French Rachid Meziane, istant in the France team of Valérie Garnier from 2014 to 2021, this is a masterstroke. He took control of the Belgian Cats in the fall of 2022, after the World Cup in Australia concluded with an elimination in the quarter-finals.
Arrived on the European scene in 2017 with a bronze medal, Belgium sees its team come to maturity during this European championship which it dominated, winning its six matches.
In the final, only four players scored on the Belgian side. Besides Meesseman’s 24 points, Kyara Linskens scored 18 points, Julie Vanloo 13 and Julie Allemand 9.
German was decisive late in the third quarter, reducing the gap between the Spaniards and Belgians to five points on two possessions and two two-point baskets, including one with a successful free throw.
The Spaniards therefore remain at four European titles in 1993, 2013, 2017 and 2019, finals each time won against France.
Absent from the last four of “its” Euro in Valencia two years ago, and from the 2022 World Cup in Australia last year, Spain is however back on the map of continental basketball, one year before the Olympic Games in Paris.