‘nonetheless alive’, France climb to semi-finals after breathless recreation towards Italy

They cling to their blue dream like a thread of life. It virtually fell aside, however even when the state of affairs appeared hopeless, the French males’s basketball workforce discovered a approach to reverse the development. The Blues received on Wednesday, September 14, within the quarter-finals of the Euro towards Italy (93-85). In opposition to Turkey, within the earlier spherical, the French needed to undergo additional time to win. And towards the Turks, they’d the favor of destiny when Italian striker Simone Fontecchio, attacking striker for Squadra Azzurra, missed two essential free throws in the previous couple of seconds. The Blues will play within the semi-finals of the continental competitors on Friday towards the winner of the Slovenia-Poland match.

“I cannot say that we’re miracles, one other phrase would go well with me higher. Thieves, for instancementioned, relieved, Captain Evan Fournier after the sport. However we have ended the sport like this twice now, we actually must cease placing ourselves in these difficult positions when we’ve got the sport in hand. »

Final yr, in the identical section of the competitors, the Blues beat the Italians after a detailed battle (84 to 75), to open the doorways to the quarterfinals of the Tokyo Olympics. Wednesday’s remake delivered on its promise, with each groups combating an intense battle to remain in rivalry. Amongst Italians excited after shocking Serbia within the spherical of 16 and the French “miraculous” – the phrases of their coach – towards Turkey (87-86 victory after additional time), the match seemed unsure.

Learn too: Euro Basketball 2022: Miraculously, the Blues free themselves in extremis from the Turkish lure and advance to the quarterfinals

“They’ve their heads within the clouds and are tremendous assured, warned the tricolor winger Guershon Yabusele, this Monday. We are going to attempt to not make the identical mistake because the Serbs. » Particularly because the Blues of France and Italy know one another properly, having confronted one another twice in preparation. By two French victories, one narrowly (78-77 after additional time) and one with type (100-68).

The everlasting downside of misplaced bullets

Suspicious, the French are affected person within the assault from the preliminary center floor. “We’ll play to our strengths, they to theirs, and we’ll see what occurs. summed up the tricolor middle Moustapha Fall earlier than the match. A workforce must impose its type. » Alternating between inside and exterior, the Blues signal a stable presentation, properly helped by an insolent speech from afar. On the Italian bench, coach Gianmarco Pozzecco cannot consider it. However be careful for misplaced bullets, the Blues’ cute little sin that retains the Transalpine inside vary.

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“It’s totally uncommon to see a workforce lose twenty balls and go the quarter-finals”warned Vincent Collet on Tuesday in regards to the ” Achilles’ heel “ of your workforce throughout this marketing campaign. With virtually 16 balls wasted per recreation because the begin of the Euro earlier than the quarter-finals, the Blues “snailed” on the high of a rating that features solely groups that had been eradicated early. On Wednesday, they misplaced 18, together with 11 within the first half. “If we had stayed on the bases of the primary interval, we had been redone”, lifted the French coach after the match, blissful to see his troops “keep alive”.

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The Blues clearly recognized this recurring downside. “We discuss it each day. Up to now, it hasn’t failed us, however there is a level the place it will not go.”, warned Guerschon Yabusele on Tuesday. Within the spherical of 16, he and his teammates felt the wind of the ball towards Turkey. “This weak spot is a vulnerability that’s tough to bear in a detailed match. This has to cease, or there could be no sequel.”insisted Vincent Collet. Much more so for the atypical recreation type of the soccer gamers, evolving with interchangeable gamers and all able to lighting from afar.

Thomas Heurtel’s Nerves

If the Italian conflagration came about, within the third quarter it coincided with a fall for the Blues. In opposition to the Turks, Rudy Gobert’s teammates – efficient with 19 factors and 14 rebounds – noticed the Transalpins go and rapidly widened the hole. It took the nerves of chief Thomas Heurtel, writer of a number of decisive actions, a as soon as once more intractable protection and Fontecchio’s closing push to win. “On the finish of the sport, I assumed my tasks, uncovered the chief, who had missed the beginning of the competitors. Anybody who is aware of me is aware of that I am not afraid to do it, and in the present day I used to be fortunate. »

“The quarterfinals are the match that takes you from a difficult tournament to a successful tournament, Dear Vincent Collet, Tuesday. Once in the last four, then you have three chances out of four to have a medal. » Your blues swayed in extremis on the good side. And if it is too early to say that Euro 2022 is a success, given its declared ambition to “win it all” and to leave Berlin with a gold medal around their neck, they continue on their way. “We came out of a very bad situation. It often happens in basketball, but it’s surprising that it happens twice with the same team.taste the tricolor coach. It fits well in our team, as well as stray bullets: we don’t give up. »

Read too: Basketball Euro 2022: Blues rejuvenated, ambitions intact

On his arrival in Berlin for the ultimate phases, Evan Fournier talked about ” pleasure “ see the resort that homes all of the groups empty because the competitors progresses. “It is at all times very gratifying, I hope it occurs once more this yr. » Certified for the semifinals, he and his teammates will keep within the fourth till the top of the weekend and can, no matter occurs, play a medal match. On Friday, September 16 (5:15 pm) they are going to face off towards the winner of Slovenia-Poland, for – simply in case the Slovenian favorites win – a brand new remake of the Olympic Video games. A yr in the past, France acquired the higher of Luka Doncic and others in a counterattack in Nicolas Batum’s dying seconds to succeed in the Olympic closing. This French workforce is simply ready to style these feelings once more.

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