the Blues without Wembanyama at the World Cup, with Francisco and Ouattara

The coach of the French basketball team, Vincent Collet, unveiled the list for the 2023 World Cup (August 25-September 10) on Wednesday.

The die is cast. If he has to do without the services of Victor WembanyamaVincent Collet can count on the rest of his vital forces for the World Cup which will take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines from August 25 to September 10, 2023. As expected, the coach of the Blues has unveiled a final list of 12 players, with five more training partners.

A list with the ghosts Nicolas Batum and Nando de Colo, absent for the European championship last year. After hesitating for a while, Rudy Gobert will be there. On the relaunch after a complicated season in New York, Evan Fournier too. Very prominent during EuroBasket 2022, Gerschon Yabusele and Terry Tarpey go on to the World Cup. Ditto for the 2.18m pivot Moustapha Fall as well as the back Elie Okobo, champion of France a few weeks ago after the success of Monaco facing the Mets 92… from Collet.

“Wemby”, it’s no… for this year

Note that the question did not arise concerning Joel Embiid. MVP at the end of the NBA season, the Cameroonian pivot has not yet decided, he who can evolve with France or the United States. Suspense until the Paris Olympics, where “Wemby” will be expected. First Frenchman number 1 in the NBA Draftthe latter explained his refusal in recent days in an interview with The Team . Unsurprisingly, St. Petersburg leader Thomas Heurtel is not part of the tricolor selection, even if Collet would have preferred to have him. And for good reason, the French Federation (FFBB) has chosen to blacklist the players and technicians who operate within the Russian championship during the war in Ukraine.

Batum as a strong winger?

Heurtel is one of the five vice-champions of Europe last year who are not on the list for the 2023 campaign and the World Cup, with Amath Mbaye (who is said to be on his way to Russia and CSKA Moscow), Andrew Albicy, Théo Malédon and Timothé Luwawu-Cabarrot. The main surprises come from the presence of Sylvain Francisco, in sight this season in Greece, and the captain of AS Monaco Yakuba Ouattara. The selection of the latter implies that we should often see “Batman” in position 4. This will be the first appearance in a major international competition for the two boys, who respectively have five and 18 selections on the clock. Package last summer, Frank Ntilikina will also be there, which leaves NBAer Killian Hayes on the floor. Inside, Collet favored the explosiveness of Mathias Lessort over the size of Vincent Poirier.

Last but not least, the Norman technician called on five players who are training partners. A priori, they are not intended to integrate the group, even in the event of injury. In this case, it is about Joël Ayayi, Hugo Benitez, Ousmane Dieng, Jaylen Hoard, Bodian Ma. They will be there at the start of the course.

Seven preparation matches on the menu

The group will be invited on July 28, with seven preparation matches on the menu, including the first four in France, in Pau, Montpellier and Orléans twice, before stopping in Lithuania and taking the road to Japan. The Blues, bronze medalists at the 2019 World Cup then silver at the 2020 Olympics and Euro 2022, will face Canada (August 25), Latvia (August 27) and Lebanon (August 29) in group H of the World Cup, in Jakarta (Indonesia), before crossing with group G, that of Spain and Brazil in particular, in the second round. The final phase will be played in Manila (Philippines), from the quarters. One thing is certain: Fournier, Gobert, Batum and company have already qualified for the Olympics, while the other nations in the running will be aiming for a ticket to Paris 2024 this summer at the World Cup.

The France group for the 2023 World Cup : Sylvain Francisco, Nando de Colo, Fran Ntilikina, Elie Okobo – Evan Fournier, Yakuba Ouattara, Terry Tarpey, Nicolas Batum – Gerschon Yabusele, Mathias Lessort, Moustapha Fall, Rudy Gobert.

The list of training partners : Joel Ayayi, Hugo Benitez, Ousmane Dieng, Jaylen Hoard, Bodian Ma

The Blues program in preparation:
France-Tunisia (31 July in Pau)
France-Montenegro (2 August in Montpellier)
France-Venezuela (August 7 in Orléans)
France-Lithuania (August 9 in Orléans)
Lithuania-France (August 11 in Vilnius)
Japan-France (August 17 in Tokyo)
France-Australia (August 20 in Tokyo)

The Blues will play their matches of the first round (Canada, Latvia, Lebanon) and those of the second (Spain? Brazil?) in Jakarta during the World Cup, and the final phase, in Manila.

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