Belgium Thrive On Big Stage With France


Belgium have arrived in Pau, France, looking to cause the shock of the summer when they go up against Les Bleus on Sunday with a place in the EuroBasket 2009 at stake.

The Belgians won the first leg at home on Thursday, 70-66, and triumphant coach Eddy Casteels had no complaints.

"We played a nearly perfect game," he said.

"Except for some rushed turnovers, we were in control of the pace. We were good collectively as well.

"If a top player like Axel Hervelle is willing to do the dirty work, the other players follow his example. That's leadership. I don't want to dwell on this too long, because we have the return on Sunday."

Those who watched the game in Antwerp on Thursday certainly will never forget the experience.

The atmosphere was electric as 6,000 fans gave the Belgians an incredible home-court advantage.

"This is a unique performance for Belgian basketball and a reward for the hard work. We have to believe in our chances in Pau," said Casteels, before praising the home support.

"I would also like to thank the crowd. A packed Lotto Arena was the perfect sixth man."

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