The coach of the France team takes stock after the defeat in the Euro final on Sunday.
How to explain this defeat?
Vincent Collet : We knew the key was bullet losses. We conceded 35 points on these, them 7 (19 ball losses for the Blues against 9, Editor’s note). Our tournament-wide problem ended up killing us. We survived against Turkey and Italy but we could have already died because of those lost balls. So against Spain… They don’t lose them. Raw numbers don’t tell the whole story. There are our fundamental weaknesses, passing and clearing, but also their aggressiveness.
There was also a difficulty entering the game…
We took a lesson in accuracy and in addition we did not compensate with crazy aggressiveness in defense. We took 17 minutes to really start our defensive pressure. We did not give ourselves the weapons to influence the match. We were caught up in what was at stake in the final, we had a hard time giving in and it took 15 minutes to break free. We got closer but each time, we did something stupid again, two stupid things… It was a bit like the rock of Sisyphus, you go back up then you take a punishment behind. We fought until the end. The guys wanted it but you won’t win a final against Spain with just that. You also have to win it with your head.
We came across a great team.
Because of their mastery?
Even in difficult times, when they take 20-2 in our favor, straddling the two halves, they do not panic. They transfer the ball three times per possession and they find open shots, which they put. We came across a great team. This is Spain, a basketball school. It’s not just (the brothers) Gasol and (Juan Carlos) Navarro. And at the level that Juancho Hernangomez was tonight (27 pts, 7/9 at 3 pts, editor’s note), he replaced at least one of the two Gasol brothers… With the average level of their championship, they have players like (Dario) Brizuela or (Jaime) Fernandez who are good players. Maybe not at the level of their predecessors but real good players. When you start 20 points behind against this type of team, you know it’s going to be complicated.