By Aris Barkas/ email@example.com
DONGGUAN – You would expect a celebration after France’s wins but that was not the case. There were smiles but things were pretty quiet and there was a reason for that.
France had beaten the host country and their longtime nemesis Spain back in the 2014 FIBA World Cup quarterfinals. Nobody really remembers that, however, since Serbia beat France in the semifinal.
But Fournier and his teammates still have that in mind: “We have won the quarterfinals, but if we lose the next one, we will return to Paris like suckers. We have seen it when we were beaten by Serbia back in the 2014 World Cup. We won the quarterfinal and then we relaxed. It’s obvious that it’s an experience that will help us”.
And a bigger success will make the win over the US even more significant. “We had issues with their switching defense, but we came back, we were dogs that didn’t let go”, said Fournier who added: “It’s too easy to say that it was only a mental thing. There was our basketball IQ in the end that made a difference, but also it was also our balls that have talked”.
Nando De Colo agreed: “It’s a very big win, but it’s not over. That’s why we are not celebrating like crazy. We have more to do”.
And of course that was music to the ears of longtime coach Vincent Collet: “We are happy but in the locker rooms we have already talked about the next game. Five years ago we met something similar in the quarterfinals against Spain, we were very happy and in the semifinal, it took us 15 minutes to get into the game. We don’t want to make the same mistake. We know that Argentina is experienced, they are proud, they are used to those tournaments and to those situations in World Cups and Olympics. And Scola was playing in those games”.
Photo credit: FIBA.Basketball