By Aris Barkas/ firstname.lastname@example.org
BEIJING – France succeeded in getting past Team USA in the quarterfinals but they couldn’t do the same against Argentina which leaves them to fight for the bronze medal.
Vincent Collet didn’t want to use it as an excuse but when asked about the opposing team getting one day of rest more, the coach admitted he believes it’s not fair:
“Sure. I didn’t want to find any excuses but I think so. I think that it’s not fair for one team to have two days to recover and prepare. Even if they don’t know the first day who will be their opponent but they know it’s gonna be one of them so they can start to prepare both. Especially one day more to recover, especially when we travel. If we were at the same place, it’s not the same but when you have to travel eight hours and for example, we didn’t go to practice yesterday night because players were exhausted. Why didn’t we go? Because we played the day before and it was very difficult to do so. Either way, Argentina played a great game and deserved to win.”
The coach was also asked if the big win against Team USA affected his squad too much, enough not to get their heads completely into this game:
“I’m not sure. It’s possible but I’m not sure. What I said yesterday to comment the game was the truth. It was a much different game. Aggressivity, defensive aggressivity from Argentina and nothing to see form US aggressivity. Team USA was playing good one-on-one defense but not a lot of help. These guys, they were pressuring us every time. Every time somebody gets beaten, somebody comes to close away the basket and force you to do something else. I think this team spirit was so much different and we didn’t adjust well to this aggressivity because we didn’t move the ball enough, we tried too much to beat them. We tried to go through the first and then the second defender which is not possible at this level. We should’ve moved the ball better and we had to shoot better. Since the beginning of the tournament we were good but tonight we were very poor,” he said at the press conference.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL