Emma Meesseman is often critiqued by Mystics fans for not being hungry enough to dominate teams single handedly. And in 2018, some fans may be wondering why Meesseman should still be on the Mystics roster if they can make the Finals without her.
Well, Meesseman definitely reads the same basketball blogs you do. She knows that many don’t think her native Belgium can do very much in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. After all, they are technically the lowest ranked team in the whole tournament, due to the way points are calculated.
Right after the USA beat Senegal with our own Elena Delle Donne putting D.C. and the country on her back, Meesseman put up a similar performance minutes later for her native Belgium when she put Ieper and Brussels on hers. Since she is still a Mystic, Meesseman put D.C. on her back too. I’m disappointed that Meesseman didn’t play for the Mystics in 2018, but I’m still proud to say that she’s still on our team in the nation’s capital.
Meesseman scored 16 points, grabbed 14 rebounds, dished five assists, blocked three shots, and even stole the ball once in Belgium’s 86-36 win over Puerto Rico. She was a fantasy basketball scoring machine out there and you can see her highlights above.
The Belgians’ win wasn’t just their first in the FIBA Women’s Basketball World Cup. They also held Puerto Rico to just SIX POINTS IN THE FIRST HALF! That’s the best margin in modern history! In the second half, Puerto Rico made their scoring total a little more respectable, but they were done at that point. For Puerto Rico, Jennifer O’Neill led their scorers with 12 points.
It is true that Meesseman is the face of Belgian basketball. But she didn’t do this alone. Center Kyara Linskens added 15 more points since Ann Wauters played sparingly, and point guard Julie Vanloo actually led Belgium’s scorers with 17 points.
But let’s be honest. Belgium’s system runs around the Reaper from Ieper. PERIOD.
Belgium plays Japan on Sunday at 1:30 p.m. local time in Tenerife (or 8:30 a.m. Eastern) in their next group game. So they are heading into their next game with little rest. Here’s hoping that Belgium gets another big win on their belt before facing off against Spain on Tuesday.
So go Belgium! En wij missen jou Emma!