Declared candidates for the title, the Blues must return the slap received before even thinking about the rest of the competition, where they no longer have the right to make mistakes.
To avoid turning the other cheek, and get a success that would qualify them barring a huge surprise for the second round (Latvia's victory against Canada in the last game), they started by coming back from Friday's rout.
"It was unthinkable to just drop yesterday's defeat. No, something happened, and we must use it: to start the rebound we must already purge what happened yesterday," said coach Vincent Collet on Saturday, however not worried by the attitudes seen Friday on the floor of the Indonesia Arena.
The coaching, before the video session (dedicated to Canada and Latvia), brought the team together.
French coach Vincent Collet speaks during a press conference ahead of the FIBA Basketball Basketball World Cup at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta, August 24, 2023 © Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
"We shared a number of things, we questioned them about what happened because we don't have all the answers. And after giving them the floor, we took stock and explained why we had reached this point, what needed to be corrected," said Collet.
"In a second time there was the desire to be positive to be able to project, because if we leave tomorrow only with the burden of yesterday's defeat, we have no chance of making this rebound," added the technician, speaking of "redemption".
For Guerschon Yabusele, who "necessarily still has in mind" the defeat, it is also "important to quickly move on and get your head back in the right place".
"We're going to bounce back"
The words exchanged and the return made have they provoked a collective awareness: "We'll see tomorrow at the game" replied Evan Fournier.
"We took a jerk but we're not going to panic. It pisses you off but that's it. We will bounce back tomorrow," said the New York back, one of the few executives at his level on Friday, even if he disappeared in the second half, also carried away by the Canadian surge.
Passed through Friday, the executives Nicolas Batum (captain), Rudy Gobert and Yabusele are particularly expected at the turn, against Latvians who play their first World Cup (large victory against Lebanon in the opening).
Insisting around the racket (with Gobert, Yabusele, Moustapha Fall and Mathias Lessort), a game too little used against the Canadians, seems one of the ways of redemption for the Blues, against the Balts deprived of their star interior, Kristaps Porzingis (Boston Celtics).
And who made a three-point festival against the Lebanese (18/35).
Canada's Luguentz Dort and France's Nicolas Batum during the FIBA Basketball World Cup Group H match between Canada and France at the Indonesia Arena in Jakarta, August 25, 2023 © Yasuyoshi CHIBA / AFP
"They pass the ball well, they will necessarily make us run to find positions (of long-distance shots). We have to be ready for this style of play, make them the most difficult shots possible, make them dribble as much as possible. Somehow make them suffer something a little similar to what we suffered yesterday," Collet analyzed.
To make a "Canadian-style match", was Fournier asked? "No, we will play a match like the French, as we have done in the past."
© 2023 AFP