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Emma Meesseman leads Belgium to their first FIBA World Cup berth after 79-66 win over Italy

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We also saw Emma in beast mode while the Belgian Cats made history!

Emma Meesseman’s Belgian Cats national team is officially a top four contender in EuroBasket Women! Belgium destroyed Italy 79-66 on the back of the Mystics stalwart to earn a berth in the semifinals of EuroBasket Women 2017.

The semifinals appearance also punches the Cats’ ticket to the FIBA World Cup next year. It’s their first appearance, ever!

And if you’re wondering how Emma Meesseman did, she is in the running for MVP of the tournament.

Meesseman scored 28 points, grabbed 11 rebounds, dished 5 assists, snagged two steals and had FIVE blocked shots. Italy had no answer to our favorite Belgian!

Here are the highlights from the game early this morning in Prague, below.

Interestingly, you hear the commentator say out loud at the end of the clip “Belgium may have the best player in Europe, Meesseman”. If they, the naysayers, had any doubt about why UMMC Ekaterinburg picked Meesseman up last year, and why the Mystics gave her an early, full extension, let’s remember that she JUST turned 24 years old. Gold mine.

I say that in the context of how the Mystics can incorporate her instincts into their game. I personally do not see a conflict with Meesse and Elena Delle Donne. It is simply a task that requires EDD to recognize what strengths Meesseman brings to the court.

And this brings me to my mini-beef at the beginning of the Mystics season. EDD’s assists must go up. Yes, we can all see that she is a shooter, she’s averaging 21 points a game. But, she must develop better court vision. I think Coach Thibault is addressing this.

In the Mystics’ defense, this is a brand new team and many of the Belgian Cats have been playing for a decade together, since their time on youth teams. It shows.

Absolutely no panic, regardless of the situation, up or down. This is why I love following Meesseman. Ice in her veins pays dividends. How does Washington tap into that?