France crushes the Czech Republic: + 35!


Undefeated in preparation, the Blues welcomed the Czech Republic to the Accor Arena in Paris Bercy for the qualifying matches for the next World Cup.

Almost already qualified, the French team suffered in the first half before going into overdrive after returning from the locker room for an easy victory (95-60) with 16 points for Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot and Guerschon Yabusele.

Yabusele very lonely

Without Tomáš Satoranský (ankle), Vít Krejčí (coast) and Jaromír Bohačík (virus) all three forfeited, the Czech Republic started their match boldly in the capital. Under the impetus of Ondrej Balvin who strikes twice from behind the arc, the evening visitors take the first gap, at 10-2.

Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot (16 points) opened the scoring for the Blues with a well-felt cup but it was above all Guerschon Yabusele (16 points) who sounded the charge, aggressively on Balvin (who had to go out for 2 quick faults), then 3-point. It’s very simple: « the dancing bear » scores 10 of the first 14 points of the Blues.

But the Blues are well and truly mistreated in the first quarter, pushed back to -10 (26-16), with a lot of imprecision in the game, and uncertain finishes. Opposite, Vojtech Hruban offers a +9 to his selection after the first quarter (27-18).

The Czechs ahead at half-time

At 5/18 on shots, the Blues completely tear up in attack, without fluidity and simply clumsy… And the offensive mismanagement continues at the start of the 2nd quarter with the Czech Republic taking a 10-point lead (35-25). Collet strums on his bench with Maledon, then Cordinier and finally Tarpey, but nothing takes…

There is a dunk from Amath M’Baye, then a basket with the fault of Gobert (14 points, 7 rebounds) but France is still a notch below. We have to wait for the last two minutes of the first half to finally experience a semblance of awakening: a 9-2 which brings the Blues to -1 (39-38) before a final basket just before the buzzer of the inevitable Hruban (14 marks).

Still just as destitute on shots, including a very small 2/11 from 3-pointers, the Blues were able to accelerate to come back close to the break (42-38), behind a big tap dunk from Gobert in particular, but it’s still very sluggish with only 3 Frenchmen above 5 points at half-time (behind 12 points from Yabusele)

A one-sided 2nd half!

After a (very) long interruption to repair one of the two panels abused by Gobert, the game resumed and the Czechs were amorphous. The Blues take advantage of this to pass an 8-0 which turns into 16-2 with Gobert and Fournier as the main fireworks. Finally settled defensively with Tarpey who connects two counters in quick succession, the tricolor steamroller is finally launched at full speed (from 38-42 to 56-44)! Proof of Tarpey’s impact, he finished with the best +/-: +25 in 13 minutes!

The 3rd quarter is one-sided: a scathing 26-8 which frustrates the Czechs, with Balvin who receives a technical foul. Luwawu-Cabarrot scored 9 of his 11 points over the period and France largely regained the lead before the home stretch (66-50).

Freewheeling, on a 54-15 in the second half, the Blues unfold their basketball with interceptions and counter-attacks. Opposite, the Czechs are asphyxiated, to the point of scoring only 18 points after the break. In the end, France won 95-60 in front of a conquered public who sang the Marseillaise.

Next step towards the World Cup, Saturday in Sarajevo against Bosnia-Herzegovina.



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