After three wins in a row, the first against the Netherlands, then two in a row against Italy, the Blues went on tonight with their last warm-up match, against another neighbour: Belgium.
Belgium starts strong
The Blues start with their usual five, but apart from the first minutes which see Rudy Gobert win the dunk and Evan Fournier strike behind the arc, it is Belgium who have the best start.
More physical and more aggressive, the Belgian selection took a 6-point lead, then 8 thanks to Gillet at 3-point and a counter-attacking basket from Mwema (19-11). Too permissive, the French defense is also at fault on the defensive withdrawal. The end of the period is more positive after a generally rough first quarter (24-19).
Barely entered the game, Isaiah Cordinier had scored the last basket of the first quarter. And it’s him again who sets fire to the powder in second with a new incisive cut towards the circle for a two-handed dunk in traffic.
The Blues raise the tone defensively
Like Maledon who is pleased with a dribble in the back then a pass to the low post for Poirier, who transmits the opposite to M’Baye at 3-points who equalizes. The Blues have found their basketball. But the Belgians, and Retin Obasohan (14 points in 13 minutes) on the front row, still take advantage of the fast game to stay in touch.
Much more intense defensively, the French hold Belgium to 11 points in the second quarter. The pair Gobert – Poirier has its effect in deterrence and Gobert even splits a huge dunk on Bako’s nose.
Heurtel pushes the gap to +9 in favor of the Blues at halftime (44-35), after a second quarter controlled from start to finish (25-11).
Tarpey scores points
Terry Tarpey is in the five after returning from the locker room. Tonic defensively and opportunistic offensively, the Franco-American greased the wheels, and the Blues started with their feet to the ground in the 3rd quarter. If Bako slams an avenging dunk over Gobert, France is already rolling 18-8.
In front of his family and his parents, Thomas Heurtel again released the big game in Montpellier, with 13 points and 6 assists. He shoots two 3-point baskets in a row and the gap swells for the Blues in total control of operations. In difficulty, Elie Okobo finds the basket more the fault and France can see wide before the last quarter (71-54).
This first quarter with 24 points conceded will therefore remain an anomaly. Behind, France has cemented access to the circle, with 30 points in the 2nd and 3rd quarters combined. And only 14 in the last quarter!
Beware of “two-pass basketball”
Well launched by M’Baye at 3-points and Poirier (9 points, 13 rebounds), although frustrated by the refereeing, the Blues will finish the job seriously with a very balanced score, like against Italy on Tuesday. Gobert closes the mark, not without having tried a 3-point and a small number of dribble.
France remains undefeated in preparation with a new victory in large widths (90-71). Vincent Collet did not fail to point out the lessons of the evening.
“Beyond basketball, the attitudes were not good at the start of the match, we were able to react and do better afterwards. But we had fallen back into basketball in two passes… We have a few players who scored points like Terry Tarpey. He came on and gave it his all. We have a young and renewed team and everyone has to understand that you have to have an irreproachable attitude to perform. »