History was already made in 2018 for the Belgium Women’s National Basketball Team. This group of players and staff would be the first to represent their country at the FIBA World Championships. While, for some teams entering this level of competition for the first time might be enough, the Belgians didn’t want to just make up the numbers in Spain and they didn’t….
As World Cup preparations intensified, Performa Sports were delighted to be chosen as the performance analysis provider for the team, affectionately known as the Belgian Cats. The group selected a customised version of the Performa Sports Coach-Plus package, allowing them to link coaches, analysts and players together through different iPads both live and post game. The real-time data insights and adaptability of the Performa Sports iPad app also came into play as the team's performance psychologist was able to live-tag athlete behavioural situations and link these to the in-game and trianing KPIs to support a more holistic player development strategy.
Performa Sports followed with great interest as the ladies qualified from their group in first place and booked their passage straight into the quarter-finals where they faced France, a team ranked 25 places above them. The Belgians, unphased, turned on the style against their opponents to win with a 23 point margin 86-25 with Julie Allemand tying the record for assists in a World Cup - another little bit of history for a team ranked 28th in the world at the time.
They progressed to meet world basketball powerhouse USA in the semi-final. A close fought contest against Team USA who lived up to their number 1 ranking, going on to win the tournament. The Belgian cats celebrated a 4th place finish in the world championship competition. No small feat for a team who had only qualified for the first time!
Their heroics have earned the team a 12 place jump, lifting their international ranking to 16th, as well as, a place in the hearts of many basketball fans. Paul Nilsen, FIBA’s expert journalist described their style of play as, “beautifully delicate stuff and it was a joy (to watch). They, made me fall in love with women's basketball all over again. A huge round of applause to Emma Meesseman who made the FIBA Women's Basketball World Cup All-Tournament Team for 2018 and finally, congratulations to the Belgian Cats squad, coaches and support staff on what is a special achievement for women’s basketball in your country.Performa Basketball →