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Frenchman Louis Labeyrie dunkant on an Australian in the match for the 3rd place of the 2019 World Cup basketball in China. WANG Zhao / AFP

The French men's basketball team retained the bronze medal at the World Cup on September 15, 2019 in Beijing, matching its best performance in this competition (in 2014). The French beat the Australians 67-59. The competition was then won by Spain against Argentina 95-75.

The French men's basketball team completed a 2019 World Cup won by Spain against Argentina, September 15 in Beijing, winning the third place of the tournament. The French can rejoice for at least four reasons.

First, by winning the bronze medal, after defeating Australia 67-59, they tied the best performance in their 2014 history. Then, they took their revenge on Australians who beat them. had inflicted their only other defeat (98-100) during this World Cup 2019 , before the lost semi-final (66-80) against Argentina. In addition, being the second best European nation of this final phase, they got their qualification for the Olympic Games 2020 . Finally, they managed all this with a team that is yet in full reconstruction, following the international retreats of two ex-superstars, Tony Parker (2016) and Boris Diaw (2018).

Yes, but…

Nevertheless, the fact of having missed the first World Cup final in the history of French basketball leaves a sweet and sour taste to the current tricolor captain, Nicolas Batum. " We have a double feeling , admitted the winger, at the microphone of the channel Canal Plus Sports. We did a non-match in this competition [in the semifinals against Argentina, Editor's note] and it's a shame because we wanted gold. But we are still happy. We had a great team win today. This medal is very good for French basketball, staff, players, and it goes beyond the twelve players who are there. It's a new era for this team and it's good for them . "

Next goal: Tokyo 2020. In a year, the "Blues" Vincent Collet hope to do as well as those of 2000, who had won the silver medal in Sydney, a historic performance. For that, it will be necessary to have a less predictable game than that deployed in China; a basketball boasting less often to an aggressive defense and the offensive exploits of the backs Evan Fournier and Nando De Colo. And it will also count with an American team with its best NBA elements, this time ...