ANALYSIS – The good and the bad points on the French side after the Euro final against Spain.
France dreamed of gold. She has to make do with the money. Miraculous against Turkey and Italy, in demonstration against Poland in the previous rounds, the Blues took a lesson in basketball and tactical and technical accuracy on Sunday evening in Berlin, in the Euro final, against a surprising Spain (88-76). "It's hard. They were better than us. They dominated us head and shoulders. Clearly they were above us. There is nothing to say», summarizes Evan Fournier (23 pts), the tricolor captain having tried everything to allow the Olympic vice-champions to hope. In vain…
Fournier has tried everything
Inside on the offensive level since the start of the tournament, with the exception of his 27-point card against Lithuania, Evan Fournier was present in the final, despite all the attention that the Spanish defense gave him. And god knows he was not let go … 23 points at 7/14 on shots for the captain, with three rebounds, two assists and an interception as a bonus. The New Yorker, however, was hampered by fouls (4) and was forced to spend time on the bench in the fourth quarter. The Blues didn't need that...
Heurtel did what he could
Also targeted by the Spanish staff, who understood everything (see elsewhere), Thomas Heurtel tried to rekindle the flame of this long-dominated French team on Sunday evening. 16 points and seven assists to the credit of the former Barça and Real Madrid, with all the same three losses of ball to deplore. But it would have taken so much more to win...
Tarpey until the end of the effort
Best rebounder in the France team (9) and only player to show a +/- positive (+2), Terry Tarpey gave everything. His aggressiveness was one of the engines of the start of the tricolor comeback. Alas, the Manceau obviously had no more juice at the end, like this action where we see him letting Lorenzo Brown slip away at the circle, looking sorry for no longer being able to make the efforts. No one will blame him, as he has always given everything since the start of the campaign. "We weren't playing the final for second place. In a few years, at the time of retirement, I may say to myself that the agent is not bad. For me, it will be a source of motivation for me. I want to continue. We will still meet Spain, we will always play against them… I am waiting for revenge», he launched, on Canal+ . We are all waiting for it.
The Okobo Spark
To subscribers absent for a long time from the Euro, discreet in any case, Elie Okobo was relaunched during the demonstration against Poland (95-54) in the semi-finals. Good idea from coach Collet, who used the neo-Monegasque very early in the match on Sunday. Defensively, the person concerned suffered. His three three-point banderillas, however, did good (9 pts, 3/6 to 3 pts) and helped revive the Blues. Not enough to dream of victory...
Gobert caught in the storm
Beyond the figures (6 pts, 6 rbs), Rudy Gobert did not have the same impact as usual, strolled by the Spanish mastery in defense and unable to get out of the trap concocted by Sergio Scariolo in offensive. "It's up to me to be better. I did not know how to help my team. I take responsibility to come back better», he throws. Its failure is also (and above all) due to the lack of ball handlers in the France team. Behind Fournier and Heurtel, France was sorely lacking in creativity throughout the Euro and it was even more visible on Sunday evening in the final, against the Spanish team.
Mistakes, too many mistakes
"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.» Signed Vincent Collet. His players have indeed multiplied the odds. Here a loss of ball (19, for 35 Spanish points), there a forgotten offensive rebound (11-5 for Spain)... Far too much against a Spanish team which recited its basketball during large parts of the encounter. "Our whole tournament problem ended up killing us“Explained the coach again about the loss of the ball. And to add:Raw numbers don't tell the whole story. There are our fundamental weaknesses, passing and clearing, but also their aggressiveness.“A class gap between this revamped Roja and these Blues who we thought were favorites.
Yabusele, the Less Dancing Bear
Certainly, Gerschon Yabusele greatly contributed to the closer of the Blues in the second half, when he found his address. He quickly lost it again... The most regular player in the French team during the rest of the tournament, the Madrid player took far too long to break free on the offensive level, when the Blues took the broth and they needed stitches to breathe. In the end, he finished with 13 points at 6/11, including 0/3 from afar, with all the same six assists but only a pair of rebounds and above all four loss of ball, out of the 19 of the Blues. Defensively, he took the tide too often in the face of the Spanish interiors which kept deviating. The same can be said for Vincent Poirier (4 pts) or Mous Fall (0 pts), the latter having spent only seven minutes in the game.
Albicy at fault
Poor Andrew Albicy did not have the opportunity to bring what was expected of him in this match, rotting the life of Lorenzo Brown (14 pts, 11 rbs). And for good reason, the leader of Gran Canaria quickly suffered his second fault. He finally spent only 13 minutes on the Berlin floor and was not used at the end (3 faults). Frustrating.