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French basketball players won against the United States (93-76), big favorites for Olympic gold, when they entered competition in Group A at the Tokyo Games. A success on Wednesday against the Czech Republic, which fell from Iran earlier (84-78), would ensure them qualification for the quarter-finals.
The French basketball team, as in the quarter-finals of the 2019 World Cup, achieved a real feat by beating (83-76) the United States, big favorites for Olympic gold, on the occasion of its entry competing in group A, Sunday July 25 in Saïtama, north of Tokyo.
This second consecutive victory against Team USA in international competition, which bears the seal of Evan Fournier author of 28 points, launches the Blues perfectly in the tournament. A success on Wednesday against the Czech Republic, which fell from Iran earlier (84-78), would ensure them qualification for the quarter-finals.
“I tried to be aggressive. As an NBA player, we know these players in front of us. We had to show the team how to attack them,” commented hot Fournier, who plays for the Boston Celtics.
A ten point delay at the break
The rear was the offensive guide of the Blues, who did not let go as they were ten points behind just before the break (45-35). When they returned from the locker room, they tightened their defense and found solutions in attack to inflict a 25 to 11 on the Americans at the end of the 3e quarter time.
The hardest part was obviously not done and Team USA, in the ranks of which Kevin Durant was discreet and clumsy (10 pts to 4/12 on shots), penalized by several early faults, was able to regain control in the wake by Jrue Holiday.
The rear, the team’s top scorer (18 pts), allowed his team to lead 69-63 at the start of the 4e quarter time, without showing any sign of fatigue, five days after being crowned NBA champion with Milwaukee.
It is with a defense of starving and crucial baskets from Nando De Colo (13 pts), also excellent on interception (2), and Nicolas Batum, author of a three-point shot in the last seconds, that France has forced its destiny.
“It is not finished”
A successful capital performance against an American armada made-in-NBA, on a whole different level than the weak team that the French had beaten two years ago in Dongguan in China.
“It’s good, it’s a good result, it’s not over, it’s only the beginning, we have another big game that is coming quickly. It’s never easy to prepare for the Olympics. In the evening, we were focused, it worked for us “, commented De Colo.
He like the others did not rejoice in Saïtama. They know only too well that the hardest part is yet to come to touch gold.