The opening window of the EuroBasket 2021 Qualifiers has given us a surprising look into the strength of our Belgian Lions.
Despite practically missing their starting line-up with Sam Van Rossom (injury/Euroleague), Ismael Bako (Euroleague), Jean Salumu (injury), Manu Lecomte (injury) and Hans Vanwijn (injury) – as well as youngster Vrenz Bleijenbergh (injury) – for this first window of the Qualifiers our Belgian Lions have clearly shown that they’re a very capable bunch.
Spearheaded by their captain Jonathan Tabu the Lions have proved to be a strong collective, playing with high intensity on the defensive end and setting each other up nicely on the offensive end where they bombed away to drain 26/59 (44.1%) from behind the arc in their 2 big wins, while averaging a very solid 20 apg as a team.
And when the team was going through a difficult moment it was the individual talent of Tabu and/or Obasohan who set the situation straight. With these 2 wins our Lions have obviously given themselves a huge step-up towards that qualification to EuroBasket 2021, which would be their 5th consecutive European Championship. Not bad for a team who had missed 14 out of the 15 previous Championships (from 1981 to 2009).
The wins against Lithuania and Denmark and the way they managed it definitely shows promise, even more so since our Lions are going through a bit of a generation switch and more and more of the younger talents are starting to receive (and grab) their responsabilities, with Retin Obasohan giving the right example.
I’m already curious to see who will get the call-up for the second window which will be played in November 2020.
Head Coach: Dario Gjergja
Ass. Coach: Olivier Foucart / Frederic Wilmot
Jonathan Tabu: 20.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 4.5 apg & 2.0 spg (2g)
Retin Obasohan: 18.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg, 3.0 apg & 1.5 spg (2g)
Quentin Serron: 10.0 ppg, 4.0 rpg, 3.5 apg & 1.5 spg (2g)
Pierre-Antoine Gillet: 7.5 ppg, 6.0 rpg, 1.5 apg & 1.5 spg (2g)
Boukichou Khalid: 8.0 ppg, 2.5 rpg & 2.5 apg (2g)
Jean-Marc Mwema: 5.5 ppg, 2.0 rpg & 2.5 spg (2g)
Maxime De Zeeuw: 6.0 ppg, 6.0 rpg & 1.5 apg (2g)
Kevin Tumba: 3.5 ppg & 2.5 rpg (2g)
Vincent Kesteloot: 2.0 ppg & 1.0 rpg (2g)
Alex Libert: 4.0 ppg, 1.0 rpg & 1.5 apg (2g)
Loïc Schwartz: 2.0 ppg (1g)
Haris Bratanović: 2.0 ppg (1g)
Simon Buysse: 0.0 ppg (1g)