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Orange Lions WU18 Will Face New Challenges in Skopje

Orange Lions WU18 Will Face New Challenges in Skopje

The time has come again: the European Championships for young basketball players! For The Netherlands, it’s up to the Women’s Orange Lions U18 to kick off in the B division at the capital of the Republic of North Macedonia. A new coach must try to make the best of it in group D, together with Sweden, Ukraine, Luxembourg, Great Britain and Albania.

Trying to reach the A division

Meindert van Veen will no longer be the coach of the Orange Lions U18. A Croatian coach, known as Silvano Poropat, took over from Van Veen. In The Netherlands, Poropat is quite an unknown coach on the women’s side. During the 2017-2018 season, Poropat was the head coach of New Heroes Den Bosch, and he finished this season as the coach of Mitteldeutscher BC. A while ago, Poropat got in contact with Hakim Salem, coach of the national senior women’s team. Now, Poropat’s main goal is to reach the A division with this U18 team. Chris van Kampen and Jorrick Creyhton will be Poropat’s assistant coaches.

Tournament in Pesaro

Last year, it wasn’t a very successful tournament. Though the Lions won three out of five games during the group phase, in the games that followed they lost with big numbers against Russia and Portugal. The Lions had be satisfied with the sixth spot, which was not what they hoped for. To prepare themselves for this year’s tournament, the Lions went to Pesaro, in Italy, from the 21st of June until the 23rd to play against different countries who will compete in the A division: Italy, Croatia and Hungary. Although the Lions couldn’t win any of these games, they showed that they could compete against those countries.

Tournament in Luxembourg

One of the opponents during the group phase, will be Luxembourg. From the 28th of June until the 29th, the Lions played a tournament in Luxembourg. It was a big win for the Orange Lions, both with a 28 point differential (35-63 and 49-77). With those kinds of results, the Lions are ready to face Luxembourg.

Having faith in our level of playing

Two players that got selected for the U18 team this year, are Vita Stam and Maaike van Zeijl.  Both girls were a part of the u18 team last year, which was still coached by Meindert van Veen.

“There are a lot of big differences between Meindert and Silvano,” Vita says. “Both are great coaches. We concentrate ourselves on many different plays during practice. Silvano sees a lot of potential in this U18 team and is convinced that we can reach the A division.”

“I agree with that,” Maaike explains. “Silvano concentrates on staying positive during the game and keep believing in yourself, and of course in the whole team.”

Vita: “I think in order to reach the A division, we have to believe in ourselves because I am sure we can make it all the way to the A division. If we all do what we agreed to do, think will work out!”

Maaike: “We have a team that can feel up the pressure in defense. We got to use that as one of our weapons. In offense, we practiced many different plays and systems that can be used for different qualities per player. Everyone knows what we are capable of. With all those opportunities, I think we have a big chance to reach the A division!”


  • Fleur Bastiaansen
  • Jade Blagrove
  • Emy Hayford
  • Annika van Heukelom
  • Maud Huijbens
  • Anouschka Meijer
  • Eva van Oosten
  • Chermensa van la Parra
  • Lotte Sant
  • Vita Stam
  • Floor Toonders
  • Maaike van Zeijl

Head coach: Silvano Poropat

Assistant coach: Chris van Kampen and Jorrick Creijghton

Team manager: Maaike van Houtert-De Both

Fysio: Manual Fysion


From last year’s group phase, Great Britain is the only country the Lions will face again in group D. Here you will see the following schedule:

  • Friday July 5th: Great Britain vs The Netherlands – 18:45
  • Saturday July 6th: The Netherlands vs Ukraine – 21:00
  • Sunday July 7th: Albania vs The Netherlands – 16:30
  • Tuesday July 9th: The Netherlands vs Luxembourg – 21:00
  • Wednesday July 10th: The Netherlands vs Sweden – 16:30
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