The Belgian national team has not been crowned with much success in recent years. But a growing number of interesting talents will try to qualify for 2009 Eurobasket in Poland for the first time since 1993. Head coach Eddy Casteels has published his shortlist of 24 players that will attempt the impossible.
In fact, “nothing is impossible” may be the motto of the Belgian Lions this summer. As the team fell into a qualification group that is rather easy compared to the tough France/Italy/Finland pool. In fact, Belgium will play against Bosnia-Herzegovina and Portugal, two teams that may be within their reach. The first-place finisher from this group of three will go on to face then the winner of the aforementioned trio. Belgium is really trying to put every possible chance on their side.
Top players Tomas van den Spiegel, Axel Hervelle and Didie Mbenga have not declined the invitation, and the chances to see them practice with the team are good, explained Casteels yesterday.
They did not say “no,” but all depends on their physical condition and the conditions fixed by their teams if they can play with the national team. I know one thing: The spirit of our group of players is excellent. Without it, we would not have defended our Division A status against Ukraine. I won’t say that we will qualify this year, though, because Portugal finished 9th last time and France comes with 11 NBA players.
Well Eddy, you may know that 11 NBA players means nothing in FIBA scenarios. The 24 selected players look pretty interesting, and I really want to see how this team will play during the qualification round in Antwerpen. The city has been chosen because it promised logistical help and a €10,000 sponsorship for the games.
Here is the list of selected players; it looks nice on the inside positions, while the wings may be a bit deserted.
PG: Sam Van Rossom, Jonathan Tabu, Lionel Bosco, Domien Loubry, Gerrit Major;
SG: Dimitri Lauwers, Roel Moors, Guy Muya, Thomas Dreesen;
SF: Randy Oveneke, Jef Van der Jonckheyd, Bob Menema, Wen Mukubu;
PF: Axel Hervelle, Sacha Massot, Aleksander Lichodzijewski, Maxime Dezeeuw, Yannick Driesen, Kristof Ongenaet;
C: Sebastien Bellin, Christophe Beghin, Piet De Bel, Tomas Van den Spiegel, Didier Mbenga.