French basketball players must recover after losing to Argentina in the semi-finals of the World Cup to win against Australia on Sunday (10:00) in Beijing, a medal that would be the first in great competition for seven of them.
In the group present in China, they are only three to have participated in the World-2014, where the Blues were on the podium for the first time: Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert. Nando De Colo (2011, 2013, 2015) and Andrew Albicy (2011) have won awards at the Euro, but for the other seven, it would be a moment that marks a career.
"On those occasions, we do not know if we'll have them twice, I told all the guys individually that in fifteen years we would not care who knew how many points, or how many kilometers we had. done, but we would remember the medal, even if it is not the one we wanted, "said the pivot Rudy Gobert.
The first thing to do Saturday was to cash the slap sent by the Argentineans (80-66) without letting the players do it alone each in his corner.
- "Free speech" -
"You have to free the floor to get rid of the frustration and disappointment that are legitimate and all the stronger because it's a game that leaves some regrets because we did not play it completely. All in all, we can not beat a small final that awards a bronze medal at the World Cup, "said coach Vincent Collet.
The task will be difficult against a talented generation of Australians ultra motivated by the prospect of finally winning a first major medal and the Blues will cross for the second time in the tournament.
They lost last Monday in a game of the second important round that had sent them on the road of the United States, with the result that we know. The French had beaten the NBA players in the quarterfinals (89-79) for the first time.
In Nanjing, they let themselves be dragged into a spectacular attacking game that was played at a possession (100-98). "We traded the baskets and it's not the style of basketball we want to do, we're a defensive team, we want to impose our pace and our identity," said Gobert.
- A medal for the Games -
It will also be necessary to see if the Australians have recovered from their semi-final lost against Spain in a crazy final, after two extra time (95-88). They missed the ball twice in the last second, including one on a free throw missed by the leader of the San Antonio Spurs Patty Mills, the best scorer of the World Cup (23.9 points average).
For Collet, "a medal would validate the birth of this team of France". "As much at the Euro-2017 we had missed that, as much there we built a new team that has a future.For me, tomorrow (Sunday) is the beginning of the Olympic Games (for which the French have qualified finishing second European at this World Cup, there will be no better approach to the Games than to take a medal, "he says.
© 2019 AFP