Andrew Albicy and the Blues beat Montenegro to qualify for Euro 2022 on February 21, 2021 in Podgorica.
SAVO PRELEVIC / AFP
It was hard, very hard even, but the essential is there.
The French basketball players, drafted for more than twenty minutes, qualified for the 2022 European Championship thanks to their victory snatched at the end of the match against Montenegro 73 to 71, Saturday night in Podgorica.
Vincent Collet's players have signed a fourth success in five qualifying matches, and will face Great Britain, also qualified for Euro 2022, late Monday afternoon (5 p.m.) in the Montenegrin bubble for first place of their group.
The victory of Great Britain late Saturday afternoon against Germany (83-81) had put pressure and a big stake on the match of the France team, the Montenegrins being forced to s' impose to avoid elimination, and the Blues can find themselves in a complicated situation in case of defeat.
And this pressure was seen, with a failed start to the match, therefore.
Thank you Heurtel and Cordinier
The Blues chased the score the whole meeting, and it was Thomas Heurtel, 16 points and top scorer for his return to the France team 18 months after his last game in the blue jersey in August 2019, who scored the basket at three points allowing them to finally take control of the meeting (65-64, 36th).
The end of the match gave rise to a crossover between the two teams, and it was finally the two-point basket followed by the free throw scored by Isaïa Cordinier in the last minute that gave the Blues a decisive three-point advantage. (71-68).
The Basketball Euro, initially scheduled for fall 2021, has been postponed for one year from September 1 to 18, 2022, due to the Covid-19 pandemic and the one-year postponement of the Tokyo Olympics to summer 2021 (July 23-August 8).
In the fall of 2022, the Blues, bronze medalists at the 2019 World Cup, will want to erase the underperformance of Euro 2017 and the elimination in the round of 16 against Germany.
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