The French basketball players have caused a major stunt at the World Cup in China on Wednesday. The team of coach Vincent Collet settled in the quarterfinals with title defender and top favorite the United States.
France won 89-79 from the US in Dongguan and will face Argentina in the semi-finals on Friday. The other semi-final is between Spain and the winner of the quarter-final between Australia and the Czech Republic.
The American basketball players won the last two World Cups (in 2010 and 2014) and have been virtually unbeatable in international competitions for decades due to the large number of NBA stars in the country.
The last time the five-time world champion lost a match to a global tournament (World Cup or Olympic Games) was in the semifinals of the 2006 World Cup, when Greece was over 101-95.
The new American coach Gregg Popovich, who led the San Antonio Spurs to five NBA titles, had to deal with cancellations of many top players for the World Cup in China. With Kemba Walker and Khris Middleton, Popovich only had two players who were an All-Star in the NBA last season.
In the run-up to the world championship in China, the US suffered its first defeat (including all games) in a friendly game against Australia since the half-final battle against the Greeks thirteen years ago. The Australians put an end to a series of 78 US duels.
Evan Fournier was one of the stars in France. (Photo: Pro Shots)