Facing the current Slovenian European champion in their last game in the group of death, the French team wanted to play a trick on Luka Doncic and thus finish at least in second place in their group. But in the end, it was rather Luka Magic who played a role. very A bad trick for the Blues, who fell hand in hand before the offensive explosion of the Ljubljana phenomenon.
Since the start of the European Championship, EDF has been hot and cold. And Wednesday’s clash against Slovenia was a great test to see where the Blues really stand heading into the round of 16. Test successfully passed…despite defeat. Yes, the Blues fell at the beginning of the night in Cologne. Of course, Vincent Collet’s men will have to settle for third place in Group B, synonymous with the match against Turkey in the round of 16. But above all, they looked the European champion in the eye for 40 minutes, a European champion who needed a
pro-slovenia arbitration Simply historic Luka Doncic (47 points) to go to snatch the victory 88-82. And the signs for the future are encouraging.
First, we liked this start of the game in a very serious way, where the Blues took a 14-3 lead behind a applied offense and tight defense. When you know the usual difficulties of EDF in the first minutes, it is a very positive sign. Terry Tarpey putting pressure on Luka, Evan Fournier warming up attacking, zero baskets conceded in five minutes, in short, the typical start we like. Second point we would like to underline: the performances of the actors who were thrown into the fire tonight. Behind old Vavane (15 points), Rudy Gobert (19 points, 8 rebounds, 1 post on Luka, 9/10 shooting) or Thomas Heurtel (10 points, 10 assists, 3 steals), we saw Amath M’Baye take I take advantage of the absence of Guerschon Yabusele (thigh) to show that we can always count on him. Hardly used by Collet in recent games and settled against Slovenia, Amath was present during his 34 minutes on the court (13 points, 4 rebounds, 5 assists, 3/7 from distance). The same for Elie Okobo, in the tough start of the Euro but author of his best game in the competition (11 points in 22 minutes) despite some air pockets that ended up costing him dearly in money. Obviously a good omen for the future. Vincent Collet said it himself in the locker room after Lithuania, “We will need everyone to be champions”Probably, the tricolor coach has more certainties today than a few days ago.
Despite everything, the turnovers continued to weigh down the Frenchman, a classic among classics. 18 bullet losses, it hurts especially when you have a team like Slovenia penalizing you cash in transition. What a rage because in general, the Blues were there, in the fight and in the intensity. The match was stormy, heated up on several occasions and already looked like a knockout matchup, but EDF never looked down like it did at the start of the European Championship against Germany. With less waste in handling the ball and especially with a better managed last minute, France could have gone for this victory. The score was 82-82 with blue-white-red possession with 90 seconds remaining, but a terrible sequence caused EDF to collapse : Okobo turnover, Dragic layup, Heurtel airball, Vlatko Cancar mid-range shot, Okobo’s failed winner and then another Evan Fournier turnover, green with rage against the referee at the point. 88-82 at the end, obviously hard to swallow, but at the same time it’s not every day that Luka Doncic will plant 47 pawns in 39 minutes to keep a Mike Tobey-deprived Slovenia alive. Simply unplayable this Wednesday, Luka Magic was on another planet and when he is, there’s not much to do except bow down. Vincent Poirier, manyieurs fois victimisé par Doncic sur des switches qui ont débouché sur plusieurs banderilles à 3-points, a certes assommé (involontairement) le maestro slovène juste avant la pause, mais rien ne pouvait arrêter le bonhomme dans cette ultime échéance du groupe de death.
After the cruel defeat of the last Olympics, Luka Doncic’s Slovenia took some revenge on the Blues. But the French team can advance by winning in the next round. She was not far from hitting the European champion despite an unplayable Luka, and we feel that she is gaining momentum after the ups and downs at the start of the tournament. A rise in power that will now have to be confirmed against Turkey in the round of 16, otherwise they will go home much earlier than expected.
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