Paris (AFP)

French basketball players managed to accelerate late in the game to beat Montenegro 80 to 72 in preparation for the World Cup, Thursday in Villeurbanne.

After three-quarters difficult time, the Blues have detonated the Montenegrin defense in the last ten minutes (29-13). This is their second win in three games after the missed start against Turkey (74-69) and success over Tunisia (94-56).

Nicolas Batum (18 points at 4/4 with 3 points) and Evan Fournier (17 points) were the two best French players in the match. Axel Toupane, who was coming back after a leg injury and must convince coach Vincent Collet to take him to the World Cup, made an effective start late in the game (8 points).

The French will play Friday against Brazil and then play their final match of preparation in the Hexagon Saturday against Argentina, still at the Astroballe, before flying to China, where the World will start for them on September 1 .

They will have to provide answers to Vincent Collet because Montenegro, a team that is not one of the candidates on the world podium, posed big problems for 30 minutes.

"They play basketball well, it took a long time to get into the game, and the first half (where the Blues were up to 13 points behind) did not live up to that. wants to do, "admitted Fournier at the microphone of RMC Sports.

The Blues had a lot of trouble carrying the danger inside. But the main concern is the leadership position. After Thomas Heurtel's knee surgery, neither Frank Ntilikina (3 points) nor Andrew Albicy (4 points) nor Elie Okobo (4 points), called this week, have convinced. The young Theo Maledon was not used.

Embarrassed by a hamstring injury since the beginning of the preparation, Nando De Colo has resumed smoothly (4 points in 15 minutes).

© 2019 AFP