Ann Wauters: “A disappointing World Cup? No, just keep your feet on the ground” | World Cup basketball

“The ambition was top 8 and it has been achieved”, concludes Ann Wauters after the loss of the Belgian team in the quarterfinals against Australia.

“It was an open World Cup. On the one hand, I think, there will be disappointment, but on the other hand, the Cats will finish in the top 8 again.”

“That is important in a transition period, after players have stopped. You can’t always expect top results.”

The semi-final was too ambitious? “You can be ambitious, but you also have to be realistic. In the last 4 there is no European country.”

“We are a small country with a small pond. You have to perform regularly. Occasionally it will be very good, now the top 8 is not bad.”

“It’s not because you reached the semi-finals at the previous World Cup that something like this works again.”

“Staying at the top is difficult, especially with a team in transition. It takes time, it is normal that not everything goes smoothly right away.”

Is there any disappointment at Wauters, who said goodbye to the Cats in Tokyo? “No, we just stand with our feet on the ground.”

“You should never forget who we are and where we come from. It’s more important to be consistent and to keep performing. The Cats have been doing that for 6 years now.”

Ann Wauters sees that “a lot of progress is still possible”. “That’s the positive thing, because there were six newcomers at this World Cup.”

No one will or can deny that Emma Meesseman’s injury was a serious blow through the bill.

“We should not underestimate her value, but you should not put everything on Emma. She can only bring this if the team is running well.”

“She is not the player who will force everything, she is the ultimate team player. The team has to run and then she shines too.”

“The players will all learn from this”, says Wauters, who is also gently looking at next year’s European Championship.

“The pressure will be much greater there, because that’s where you have to perform.”

“At that European Championship you have to win your quarterfinals if you want to go to the Games. The Cats have to learn to deal with that pressure in a short time.”



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