The medal winners will clearly stroll away from FIBA Ladies’s EuroBasket with a prize – Spain, France and Serbia will all be pleased with their achievements in several methods. Their success has been properly chronicled and every nation will proceed to rejoice after they return dwelling. In the meantime, there have been some groups on the match that arguably deserved to stroll away with one thing – at the very least one thing quite a lot of ribbons exchanged between groups earlier than the video games.
The dreaded fourth place is a end that almost all groups would somewhat keep away from. All the trouble of creating it to the final day of EuroBasket ends with nothing. However for Britain, it marks the most effective consequence within the nation’s historical past at a world match.
The plucky Brits are the one staff to have performed 7 video games in 11 days on account of ending second to Spain in Group A and needing a qualification sport to make it to the quarterfinals. The staff lacked power through the second half of the Serbian bronze-medal sport, and after the loss, guard Stef Collins mentioned: “We’re exhausted!”
However this can be a program on the rise. Regardless of the loss, they nonetheless really feel assured getting in to the pre-Olympic qualifying video games. The broad shoulders of Temi Fagbenle – who was one in every of EuroBasket’s All-Star 5 – because the main scorer of the match is the centrepiece the nation has been seeking to construct round, alongside the supportive wing play of Karlie Samuelson and captain Joey Leedham-Warner. The staff wants higher depth, however it will possibly encourage a daring future for Britain as a basketball nation.
This expertise might be beneficial for the staff and it’ll have excessive hopes going into November and February forward of Tokyo 2020. As Head Coach Chema Buceta mentioned passionately after the semifinal: “In Britain, they are talking about building basketball for the Olympics in 2028, but we are one game away from being in the Olympics next year. We are here now.”
The nation has been constructing an elite basketball program extremely slowly. Ann Wauters is now 38 years previous and has been representing the staff for the reason that final millennium. She has seen its gradual rise and impressed gamers like Emma Meesseman – who was simply six years previous when Wauters first pulled on the worldwide jersey – Julie Allemand and Kyara Linskens to now be on the cusp of the nation’s first look within the Olympics for ladies’s basketball. Throw within the powerful however revered head coach in Philip Mestdagh, his daughters Kim and Hannah, and the energizer bunny that’s Julie Vanloo, and this can be a staff that’s making Belgium fall in love with basketball.
After ending fourth on the FIBA Ladies’s World Cup in 2018, many had tipped Belgium as darkhorses to win EuroBasket outright. A heartbreaking extra time loss within the quarterfinals to the eventual silver medalist meant that the staff would as an alternative face a playoff sport for a prime six place and an opportunity to qualify for Tokyo 2020. Belgium beat Hungary to maintain the Olympic dream alive, and for Wauters, who has seen this system construct from nothing, she reassured everybody after the match that that is precisely what they wished.
The ups and downs of the Swedish program previously 10 years have been a supply of frustration for the Eldebrink sisters. The dual guards Frida and Elin had been battling for EuroBasket too eight positions in the beginning of their worldwide careers however the success plummeted after 2013. Nonetheless, with a robust publish presence in Amanda Zahui B for proper now and one for the longer term in Regan Margarity, this staff appears set to return to its challenger standing.
The staff suffered a heavy defeat towards Serbia within the quarterfinals, and it confirmed that there’s nonetheless a distinction between what the Swedes have been constructing and the highest tier that’s at present out of attain. Nonetheless, at 31, the Eldebrinks will probably have one other Olympic run in them after Tokyo, and if the likes of Margarity and 19-year-old Klara Lundquist proceed to develop, the staff may very well be in a superb place for the subsequent EuroBasket match in 2021.