Belgium Look To Stay Unbeaten


By David Hein

Belgium could take a big step towards making the quarter-finals of the 2007 EuroBasket Women when they take on Turkey in the first game of the Group E qualifying round in Vasto.

The Belgians were the class of Group B in Lanciano and are looking to improve on their best-ever sixth-placed showing at the 2003 EuroBasket and qualify for at least the pre-Olympic tournament.

Nevriye Yilmaz (Turkey)
Yilmaz, struggling with injuries, has been a non-factor for Turkey.
Turkey meanwhile hope to build upon their first victory of the tournament against Israel.

Last Time Out: Belgium finished off a perfect 3-0 run in Group B with a 74-71 victory over Romania while Turkey advanced to the qualifying round by knocking off Israel 70-58.

Key Match-Up: Nilay Yigit vs Kathy Wambe: Wambe has been the driving force of the Belgian surge in Italy, averaging 11.7 points, 2.7 rebounds, 2.3 assists and 2.0 steals. The Villeneuve-d'Ascq starlet also has committed just seven turnovers in guiding Belgium to a tournament-best 12 turnovers per game. Yigit must find a way to stop Belgium's motor.

X-Factor: Turkey center Nevriye Yilmaz: It remains unknown exactly how lingering the injury is to Cem Akdag's dominant low post presence, who missed Turkey's game against the Czechs and was a non-factor offensively against the Israelis. But Yilmaz needs to be fully fit and healthy for Turkey to have any chance.

Stats: After making just 5-of-30 (17%) three-pointers combined in their losses to Latvia and Czech Republic, the Turkish shooters came out of their funk against Israel to hit 10-of-24 (42%) of their long range shots.

Sounding Off: Belgium coach Laurent Buffard: "Turkey play very physical inside so it will be a very hard game. It's not always an advantage to have played a preparation game against a team and then play them again - even though we won. But if we play with the same confidence and the same frame of mind we did in the first round we should be okay."


Playing For Pride07.10.2007
Bounce Back06.10.2007
Wauters Torture05.10.2007
Czechs Battle For Top Spot02.10.2007
Latvia Aim To Slow Down Perfect Belgium30.09.2007
Belgium Bid For Perfect Opening Round26.09.2007
Belgium, Germany Look To Stay Perfect25.09.2007

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