America’s World Cup debut versus Belgium was uneventful.
As they prepared to compete in the World Basketball Championship on Thursday in Sydney, the United States of America, which has won the tournament three times in a row, easily defeated Belgium (87-72) thanks in large part to the play of their tandem of Stewart and Thomas.
They started each period by stifling the “Belgian Cats” with their aggressive defense, going up 12-0 in the first, which allowed them to finish with a lead of almost 10 points (48-39), and then going up 12-2 during the second to take a comfortable lead (60-41), which allowed them to manage the game calmly at the end.
“Belgium made things difficult for us with the tempo it offered and the address it gave us. Our defense was pretty good. There is still work to be done. Cheryl Reeve, an American coach, told the press that she had benched three players who had just arrived in the country after competing in the WNBA championship game on Sunday.
The result of this defense was 25 stray balls for the Belgian team of Emma Meesseman, who finished with 4 points, 4 rebounds, and 4 assists. However, the Belgians struggled to score inside against the firepower of American captain Breanna Stewart, who finished with 22 points and 4 rebounds. Alyssa Thomas also scored 22 points (14 pts, 7 rebounds, 9 PD).
Even though we coughed up a few simple balls, our primary issue was the defensive pressure that Team USA applied to us throughout the game.
Valery Demory, who hails from France and coaches the Belgian national team, expressed his contentment with the “really good start to the competition” that his players had gotten off to.
The United States of America will play Puerto Rico on Friday. Puerto Rico is the clear victor in this group A, defeating Bosnia and Herzegovina 82-58 owing in large part to its American leader Arella Guarantee, who recently became naturalized (26 points, 9 rebounds, and 8 PD). Belgium is going to take a stance against South Korea.