the France team resumes service against the Czech Republic this Thursday


Curiosity of the calendar, one week before the Eurobasket: a qualifying match for the next competition, the World Cup-2023, awaits the Blues on Wednesday (8:30 p.m.) at Bercy against the Czech Republic. A meeting to win “to gain power”, according to Rudy Gobert. “It’s a game that we have to win, but anyway, we always have the mentality of winning, every time we play. It must also allow us to continue working and to increase in strength”, revealed the pivot , voted three times best defender in the NBA, during a press briefing on Tuesday.

“It is positive that there is a little more at stake”

Seven days before the debut of the Blues against Germany, this meeting then another Saturday in Bosnia and Herzegovina, should help to increase the level. “We are going to work on our defense, our attack, the set-up. There are things that we will continue to learn. It is positive that there is a little more at stake”, appreciates Evan Fournier, captain in the absence of Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo. The four successes in preparation against the Netherlands, Italy (twice including one in extra time) and Belgium have “generally satisfied” coach Vincent Collet.

Even if, before his twelfth tournament at the head of the French basketball players, the Normand recalled that at the Tokyo Olympics, the Czechs had doubted the band in Batum ten minutes in Saitama before losing 97-77. “We took thirty points in the first quarter (28-22, editor’s note) at the Olympics,” he recalled. “Then we had tightened the noose and their planes are losing their Latin. We will have to try to avoid the same departure.”

“Not at a sufficient level to beat the best in Europe”

Despite the absence of leader Tomas Satoransky, future Barcelona player after six seasons in the NBA, injured in an ankle, this match, against the sixth of the 2019 World Cup, can give some certainty to the France team. Before a higher caliber opposition in Cologne then Berlin where the Blues will find on their way during the Eurobasket the Slovenia of Luka Doncic then undoubtedly the Serbia of Nikola Jokic or the Greece of Giannis Antetokounmpo according to their course.

“It’s like a runner who, in friendly matches, climbs the middle mountains”, compares Vincent Collet. “What will happen when he attacks hors category passes? For the moment, very honestly, I don’t know.” “Clearly today, we are not at a sufficient level to beat the best in Europe”, admits the coach, “but that does not mean that we will not be tomorrow”.


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