The French were able to find the energy to go back 15 points against Australia to snatch the bronze medal of the World Basketball, 67 to 59, Sunday in Beijing, and mitigate the disappointment of not playing the final .
"It's pride.After all the sacrifices we made for two months, come back without anything it was not possible," reacted French pivot Rudy Gobert.
The Blues report in France a medal of the same color as five years ago, not the one he dreamed after their feat against the United States in the quarter-finals, but the reward "is good", said the leader Andrew Albicy.
It is the seventh international medal of the twenty-first century for French basketball, which consolidates its place among the major nations of this global sport. This is the first since the stopping of Tony Parker after the Games of 2016, the previous one, also in bronze, dating from Euro-2015 in France.
The Blues have managed to remobilize the terrible disillusionment of the day before against Argentina. Widely favorites on paper, they had missed out on their match (80-66).
"We really fought with heart and guts, we won because we deserve something, it's not negative, but we should have played in a few hours (the final ", said Evan Fournier, who could not be happy even after this victorious final.
This podium is also a personal victory for Vincent Collet, who becomes the most medalist coach in the history of basketball with five awards, including a title at Euro-2013. "Five in a decade, it's pretty grandiose, we can say what we want is the best coach of French basketball," said Nicolas Batum.
- Batum sounds the revolt -
The captain rang the revolt early in the third quarter while the French were on the brink. Author of seven points in this period (9 at the end), he has reinvigorated his troops by also giving several passes and signing several actions of defensive brilliance.
From there, the match has completely turned. The Blues passed for the first time in the game at 8:30 of the end to not let go thanks to two free throws Nando De Colo, one of the great craftsmen of this victory, revenge of a match of second round lost Monday against the "Boomers" (100-98). The back and sixth man took things in hand in attack in the decisive moments and finished better marker of the meeting with 19 points, including 10 in the last quarter-time.
Contributions from the rest of the bench were also decisive, especially those of pivot Vincent Poirier (8 points, 7 rebounds) and leader Andrew Albicy (9 points), author of three baskets with three crucial points and a big defense on the best Australian, Patty Mills, limited to 15 points.
Having a direct ticket for the Olympic Games thanks to their trip to China, the Blues will try to make Tokyo next summer at least as good as their silver-winning predecessors in Sydney in 2000. "It's the objective, "assured Gobert.
© 2019 AFP