Shenzhen (China) (AFP)
The leader Andrew Albicy will have a crucial role to play against the German star Dennis Schröder Sunday in Shenzhen (2.30 pm French time) in the first game of the World Cup, a tournament in which he participated through the much-maligned "windows" of qualification.
Then promising youngster in Levallois, he had played in the 2010 World Cup at the age of 20, then the Euro-2011, before experiencing a five-year eclipse without selection. "Selection coach," says the Parisian, who admits to have had at that time "a small blow of slack" in his career.
Then in 2017, when the Fiba copied the current system in football by playing the qualifying games at the World Cup in the middle of the club season, the famous "windows" for which players NBA and 'Euroleague were not available, Vincent Collet had to appeal to the ban and back-ban of French basketball to win the ticket for China.
Without Thomas Heurtel, neither Frank Ntilikina, nor Leo Westermann to hold the baton, it is to Albicy, then a little forgotten in the Championship of Spain with the club of Andorra, that it was entrusted. The opportunity was beautiful, he did not let it go.
- The defense in DNA -
His performance and dedication, especially in defense, in this campaign buckled with panache have made him enter the small papers of the coach, very reassembled against the colander-team of Euro-2017. In China, it is even he who finds himself N.1 leader after the package of Heurtel, in front of Ntilikina.
"We criticized these windows but they showed that other players could bring things to this team, as well as Paul Lacombe and Mathias Lessort (also present in China), who did great things during these qualifiers. thanks to them we are in this group and we can not spit on it, "he explains.
Defense has always been his radius. "It's part of my DNA Destroying the opposing leader, it's always been one of my favorite actions, preventing him from getting organized, putting his systems in place, I'm playing hard, I'm still stuck to his basque. I'm going, I'll go ... When I was young, I was always told that if I wanted to win my place and go pro, it started with the defense, "says Albicy, who could not count on his size (1.78 m) to drill.
- Gêner Schröder -
Faced with the Germans, he will have the essential task of harassing Dennis Schröder, a leader in the NBA (Atlanta Hawks and Oklahoma Thunder since last season). It is this player with ultra-fast support, who loves to eliminate his direct opponent to spin to the circle, which precipitated the fall of the team of France in the knockout stages of the Euro-2017.
"I can not wait, we'll try to bother him as much as possible, anyway he'll take his shots, he'll have to lower his percentage of success, I like missions like that," said the Frenchman, 29 years old.
And why not also take a chance in attack, a sector in which he is sometimes underestimated. "If the Germans take defensive options on me (that is, if they leave him free to score), I'll try to make them pay," he promises, boosted by his 12 points of average in Eurocup this season with Andorra.
His career is on a positive trajectory, Albicy will join after the World Zenith St. Petersburg, with which he will play the Euroleague for the first time. His next project in blue? "Consolidate my place for the Olympics if we can qualify."
© 2019 AFP