After six consecutive successes, French basketball players finish their preparation with their biggest test against Serbia, Tuesday (1:30 pm, French time) in Shenyang, four days before the start of their World Cup against Germany.
The Serbs, vice champions of Europe, the world and Olympic, are considered the first underdogs for the title behind the United States, with their NBA players, Nikola Jokic (Denver Nuggets) and Bogdan Bogdanovic (Sacramento Kings) mainly , and Euroleague.
Coach Sacha Djordjevic suffered a heavy blow with the injury package of his conductor Milos Teodosic, but his team has still managed a clear no-fault so far, with nine wins in as many matches , often facing big teams like Lithuania, Italy, Turkey and Greece.
The French have not faced the Serbs since the match "loser wins" Rio Olympics in 2016. Their victory had sent them to the wrong side of the final table. The last match in a big championship goes back to the Euro-2015 in Lille where the Blues had won bronze. Over the last ten years, the balance sheet all mixed up is balanced: 7 wins, 7 losses.
Arrived Wednesday in China, Vincent Collet's players remain on six successive wins (Tunisia, Montenegro, Brazil, Argentina, New Zealand, Italy) after their initial defeat against Turkey in early August. This is the first time of preparation that they face one of the main favorites for the podium.
The coach will align perhaps the twelve of the final list he must deliver at least 48 hours before the match on Sunday, unless he needs to see the last time the players in balance for the last two places, a priori leaders Theo Maledon and Elie Okobo, back Paul Lacombe and interior Louis Labeyrie.
The French team will have to embark Wednesday for a long flight of about 4:30 from Shenyang (north) to Shenzhen (south), where it will take up quarters for the first group stage of the World Cup. His opponents will be Germany (Sunday 14:30 French time), Jordan (Tuesday) and the Dominican Republic (Thursday).
Composition of the teams:
France: Andrew Albicy, Frank Ntilikina, Élie Okobo, Théo Maledon, Evan Fournier, Nando De Colo, Nicolas Batum, Paul Lacombe, Amath M'Baye, Axel Toupane, Mathias Lessort, Louis Labeyrie, Vincent Poirier, Rudy Gobert
Serbia: Vasilije Micic, Stefan Jovic, Bogdan Bogdanovic, Marko Guduric, Vladimir Lucic, Nemanja Bjelica, Stefan Bircevic, Marko Simonovic, Boban Marjanovic, Miroslav Raduljica, Nikola Milutinov, Nikola Jokic
© 2019 AFP