France lost a foot in the final and saw their dream of gold fade away

It was the blow of the summer in the France team, painful, which is returning day after day. “We can’t go far in this competition if we lose a lot of balls.” Vincent Colette has sung it in all the tunes since the start of the Euro. And after hearing this all summer, they found themselves very helpless when the wind came. The French basketball team, swept away by a wind from Spain, lost on Sunday 18 September in the final of the European Championship (76-88). Pre-competition gold prospectors assumed, after the 2019 World Cup bronze and silver at the Tokyo Olympics, the Blues still failed to climb this final step.

“Our anxiety in the tournament ended up killing us.”Tricolor algebraic coach summed up. Since the beginning of the preparation for the Euro, Vincent Colette has identified ” weakness point “ of his team, and tries to solve it. “The Spaniards scored 35 points after we lost the ball tonight, and we scored seven. This number alone is enough to explain why we lost this match.” rescued from the water in the round of 16 against Turkey (87-86 after extra time), “miracle” In the quarter-final against Italy (93-85 after extra time), the Blues failed for the third time to extricate themselves from a bad situation.

“We could have passed because we lost the balls on many occasions, but we survived until thenThe French coach blew. But Spain is not such a difference. They don’t lose the ball. » Before the final, the Normandy technician boasted Spanish School of BasketballAble to renew itself despite international retirements of huge numbers.

‘They got us head and shoulders’

Before the final match, this reunion re-ignited the embers of their previous clashes. For more than ten years, the two neighboring countries have found themselves in cleaver matches, fueling resentment and frustration on both sides of the Pyrenees – more on the French side, and often on the wrong side of the coin. Veterans Stories, By The Blues. “The rivalry with Spain is really old. We feel they have had a tough time against them., revealed by Evan Fournier, Saturday. If he suffered disappointments against La Roja, the French captain remembers that it was Rudy Goubert and Thomas Hurtl who won their first major duel against the Spaniards. In 2014, France, while deprived of Tony Parker, had eliminated the great Spain from the “World Cup Finals” in the quarter-finals.

The new Blues, whose team has been in formation since 2019, see Slovenia as a more major continental contender and do not feature complexes against the Iberians. “It’s a different era, but that’s a good thing because this team didn’t suffer as much against themanalyzed by Vincent Colette on Saturday. Before, even if we wanted to get them out of our heads, they were always there for a bit. » In view of the progress in the final, Sergio Scarello’s forces resumed their ease at the Tricolor Heads.

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They took over our heads and shoulders. They played very well and targeted us wellEvan Fournier admitted after the match. hard to take. They were better than us. » From the start of the match, the teammates of leader Lorenzo Brown, again, very fairly (14 points, 11 assists and did not lose a ball), crowded out the French. Defending aggressively on the backlines, and preventing the Blues from finding their insides, like Rudy Gobert, Willie Hernangomez’s teammates – who was named Player of the Tournament – quickly took the lead. Before his little brother Juancho Hernangomez caught fire from afar. With six three-point shots in the second quarter (for 29 points in total), the Toronto Raptors winger tackled the French defense, creating a crippling gap.

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We were not up to the occasionRegretted the leader, Andrew Bessie. In the third quarter, we realized that we were in the final and that we had to give everything. » But against Spain, led by Sergio Scarello, the awakening was not enough. Going back three lengths behind their opponents after they were more than twenty points away, Evan Fournier’s teammates were unable to completely reverse the trend. “The game was frustrating. We are trailing from start to finish but we chase the score throughout the match.”Rudy Gobert is exposed. “In accuracy, we learned a lessonFollow Vincent Colette. It was a bit like a Sisyphus rock, going back up and then taking a penalty behind you. » Because Spain never untied it.

Spanish language “Master Class”

The reigning world champion (in 2019), but relegated to a continental competition with seven junior players in international tournaments, Spain was out of sight before the final. this game, It will be Mount EverestSergio Scarello warned. The Italian coach of La Roja, who won his eighth medal on Sunday, was waiting for a meeting “Thrilling”where his young troops were not the favourite. “We have to be smart, and take the game to a level where we can competeinsisted on Saturday. To face such a physical, athletic and technical competitor head-on would not suit us. »

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A brilliant tactician, at the end of the semi-finals he managed to isolate German star Dennis Schroeder from his teammates, and Scarello still has a few tricks up his sleeve. “You have to make an effective game plan and anticipate differences, because there is always something not working out.” On Sunday, against the Blues, he delivered “advanced lessons”, constantly adapting. “As a basketball coach, I’m just happy with the way we played.Italian taste. We had limits, which could have made us play poorly, but instead, we were excellent. » Sa Roja wins the fourth continental title.

If disappointment prevails, inevitably, after “lost gold”The France team shouldn’t get rid of everything. Arrived without certainty and without two of his players – Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo – the Blues went through a journey of ups and downs, before climbing to the final. “We came across a great team. To beat them it takes more than that. It’s not a matter of courage, we fought but we don’t have enough maturity.Vincent Colette concluded.

Once they took the silver, Yvan Fournier and Rudi Joubert took it off and walked onto the podium bare-necked. “I’m tired of money”After the ceremony, the Minnesota Timberwolves sighed. His generation, which he and Fournier lead, is still waiting for his first title. Two years before the Paris Olympics, the Blues discovered on Sunday that there was still a long way to go before they could touch the gold they coveted.

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