Brave Belgium Win But Israel Advance

26.08.2007

Belgium pulled out all stops in a bid to beat Israel by 20 points but ended up settling for an 83-74 victory.
 
The outcome means Israel lost the game, but won Group C to advance to the next round of the additional qualifying tournament in Spain where they will attempt to claim the last place on offer for EuroBasket 2007.

Because Israel had won the first encounter between the sides by 19 points, Belgium entered the game knowing it would take something extraordinary to win the group.

At half-time, the contest was tied at 41-41 and midway through the third quarter, the Israelis had moved into a 51-44 lead.

Belgium reeled off 12 consecutive points to move in front at 56-51.

Yet with 8:30 to go in the final period, the hosts only led 62-60 lead and Israel looked as if they would cruise to Group C victory.

Belgium had other ideas.

Guard Sam Van Rossom buried a three-pointer to spark a 7-0 run and with just under six minutes remaining, the lead was 69-60 for Belgium.

Another Belgian guard, Guy Muya, went in for a lay-up with 3:11 to go which made it 76-65 in favor of the hosts.

Belgium fans watching in Charleroi started to believe their team may just do the unexpected.

Matan Naor had an immediate reply for Israel, however, nailing a three-ball that made it an eight-point game.

The visitors did enough down the stretch to win.

Roel Moors had 18 points and Axel Hervelle 14 for Belgium.

Meir Tapiro led Israel with 14 points.


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