Belgian Lions 3×3 are qualified for the quarters after beating Poland at the Olympics.
The Belgian 3×3 Lions beat Poland 16-14 on Tuesday in the group stage of the Tokyo Olympic tournament. Thibaut Vervoort scored the winning shot with less than a second left to play. The Belgians finish this first phase with a record of 4 wins and 3 losses. They will take part in the quarterfinals but could also go directly to the semis depending on the results of the games to come in the morning.
The Belgians start the game well by leading 2-0. The game is quite physical with five fouls called in less than two minutes. On a two point basket with the foul, Vervoort gives a four point lead (6-2) after 2 minutes 30 of play. The lead was extended to 8-2 on an unsportsmanlike foul by Michael Hicks.
The same Hicks was able to close the gap to 9-6 and then 11-10, both times on two-point shots. The Poles continued to build momentum and took the lead at 12-11 with less than 3 minutes to play. Hicks again scored from long range (14-11).
The Belgian Lions did not give up and Vervoort in turn lit up from long range to cut the lead to 14-13 with 1:30 to play. Celis was able to tie the game by getting his own rebound before trying his luck again with his back to the rim.
But the hero of the game was Thibaut Vervoort. As Michael Hicks tried one last shot to win it in regulation time, he missed. Belgium got the ball back and with less than a second to play, it was Vervoort beyond the 6m75 mark who planted the winning shot.