Our U16 Belgian Lions have regained their winning ways as they defeated the Czech Republic with the 87-93 final score and now head to the Classification game for 5th place at the U16 European Championship (Div. B).
The Czech Republic actually got off to the best start, despite only dressing 6 players (due to a stomach bug ravaging their team) and at the end of the opening quarter it was them that was leading the way with 25-20. A very strong second and third quarter by our young Lions quickly cut the lead and even catapulted our team ahead to the 54-72 score headed into the final quarter. The Czech boys fought for what they were worth though and gradually our lead shrank away ’till suddenly they were back within 2 pts with 1 minute left to play. A floater by Mennes, followed by a steal and finish by Pouedet and eventually 3 converted FT’s out of an unsportsmanlike foul assured the win for our young Lions.
Thijs De Ridder was unstoppable and finished with 31 pts on 9/17 FG shooting & 7/11 FT shooting, while also pulling down 8 rebounds. And on top of that he added 4 steals & 3 blocks in 32 minutes of action. Joppe Mennes also had an excellent all-rounded performance as he recorded 15 pts, 9 rebs, 4 asts, 3 stls & 3 blks in 27 minutes. Sean Pouedet was our third and last player to finish in double figures as he added 14 pts & 6 stls.
Tomorrow they face their last opponent of the Tournament with Bulgaria for the 5th place.