EuroBasket: Belgium Aims To Achieve Milestone | Independent Newspapers Limited
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EuroBasket: Belgium Aims To Achieve Milestone

Posted: Sep 8, 2015 at 12:05 am   /   by   /   comments (0)

Belgium’s emphatic 84-55 EuroBasket 2015 Group D victory against Estonia not only boosted hopes of a place in the Final Phase but also served to highlight the progression possible to developing basketball nations.

Eddy Casteels’ side was dominant from start to finish in Riga, Latvia, on Sunday, but the ability to secure such comprehensive successes on Europe’s biggest stage has not been built overnight.

After achieving qualification for the first time in 18 years, the Belgians’ Lions lost all five of their games at EuroBasket 2011.

But that experience benefitted them two years later as they reached the Second Round in Slovenia, and now they hope to go one step further.

Estonia, meanwhile, is back at EuroBasket after a 14-year absence, and could do worse than to follow the Belgians’ lead.

Coach Casteels cited the individual progression of guard, Jonathan Tabu, who has now represented Belgium at three consecutive EuroBasket competitions, as an example of the impact experience at Europe’s highest level can have on a national programme.

“When he was younger, he stepped into it, he stepped into it when he was playing in Belgium and now he is playing all over Europe,” Casteels said of Tabu, who now boasts club experience in Italy, Spain and Germany.

“That is exactly what we need, to show our younger talents in our country what it takes to play in a tournament like this.

“You recognise sometimes what experience is all about and recognition concerning identity and energy.

“They recognise when it is tough, when you have to step up, when you have to have the guts to take a bad or a missed shot, but they go after it.