The Belgian national basketball team remain on the fringes of the sport and, on a global scale, the Lions have yet to fully make an impact. When the summer Olympics eventually takes place in Tokyo later this year, the team will be absent but there is some good news for followers of the Belgian side.
Under coach Dario Gjergja, Belgium have made it through to the 2022 Eurobasket tournament. An impressive run of results in the qualifying rounds has seen the Lions progress and the question is, can the team improve on the nation’s best ever finish?
Belgium have booked their place in Eurobasket 2022 which gets underway on September 1st next year. While few fans and outside observers expect Gjergja’s team to ultimately lift the gold medal, the first and most obvious aim is certainly within the Lions’ reach.
Back in 1947 at the Eurobasket tournament in the former Czechoslovakia, Belgium finished in fourth place. After progressing through the earlier rounds with impressive results, a semi final loss was followed by defeat to Egypt in the bronze medal match.
Since then, returns have been modest and Belgium have frequently missed out on qualification. Having competed in the 1993 tournament in Germany, a gap of 18 years followed before the Lions were involved again.
Historically, their very appearance in Eurobasket has been an achievement in itself but there is hope that this current Belgium team can match or even eclipse that best fourth place finish in 1947.
With the 2022 edition of Eurobasket some 18 months away, betting odds are still trickling in from sportsbooks around the world. United States betting sites affiliated with sbo.net will continue to update the markets as the competition approaches but the countries that have traditionally been strong will undoubtedly appear towards the top of the list.
Spain have enjoyed some success on an Olympic scale and they will have their followers while the Czech Republic, France, Russia, Serbia and defending champions Slovenia are also likely to be up there with the favourites.
Whoever you may be backing, sbo.net will also list offers and promotions which can help you to get some better value from the tournament. Odds will be updated while news reports and opinion pieces can help readers to make an informed decision.
In keeping with recent tournaments, the 2022 version of Eurobasket will be hosted by four separate countries. Georgia, Italy, Germany and the Czech Republic have the honours of holding a competition which will run from September 1st to September 18th.
24 countries have progressed to the finals and, in the Preliminary Round, those nations will be separated into four groups of six. Within those sections, each country will play each other once and the top four teams in each group will proceed to the next stage.
This leaves us with 16 teams who are now involved in a series of straight knockout matches. Starting with the Round of 16, there will be a set of one off games: The winners move through to the next stage while the losers are eliminated.
Eventually, we have just two teams in the final which, once again, is a one-off match with the winner claiming the gold medal. Completing the picture is a third place play off to decide which nation goes home with the bronze medal.
This is a very simple Eurobasket format and it’s one that leaves plenty of room for great contests and dramatic battles. They may not reach the top in 2022 but just how far can Canada go?
Can the Lions Roar?
Recent results offer some hope for followers of the Belgian national basketball team and there are signs that they could go deep into the 2022 Eurobasket tournament. Those results have been promising and, on their way to next year’s competition, the Lions defeated some notable opponents.
A 90 points to 62 victory over the Czech Republic in November 2020 was, perhaps, the major highlight but there have been additional wins over Denmark, Lithuania and Portugal. The competition at Eurobasket 2022 will be much stiffer but Belgium have some momentum and the country’s first ever medal in this tournament isn’t out of the equation.