Dominated by Spain, the France U17 team will play for bronze

Dominated by Spain, the France U17 team will play for bronze

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Clumsy in free throws (11/25), dominated in rebound (54 taken to 36), lacking creators/leaders and hampered by the defense of the opposing zone, the French U17 men’s team logically lost 68-53 in the semi-finals of the World Cup, against Spain. Les Bleuets will play the small final this Sunday against Lithuania, which lost to the United States.

A decisive local atmosphere

Pivot Aday Mara hurt Les Bleuets badly (photo: FIBA)

Launched by Killian Malwaya despite the local atmosphere which was inevitably hostile to him, the French team started the match well. Started off very well. She led 8 to 1 after 4 minutes of play, a sign of her big defense. But the fouls started to fall and the Spanish staff adjusted. A zone defense, with the excellent Aday Mara (2.20m) in the middle, considerably hampered the fluidity of the French attack. At the break, the locals were logically ahead (32 to 30). However, the Blueberries were more conquering in the third quarter, also causing many faults, to bring out Mara then his sidekick from the interior sector, Izan Almansa. Only, the too many free throws released en route weighed heavily and Bernard Faure’s men only led 48 to 46 with 10 minutes remaining. In this context, such a small gap could not allow the tricolor to hold out against a Spanish team capable of falling into euphoria, thanks in particular to the large public who came to the Palacio de Deportes Jose Maria Martin Carpena. Too feverish, in lack of leaders, the Bleuets were completely dominated to conclude the meeting (5-22 in the last quarter), which explains the big final gap (-15).

Click here to access the statistics of the meeting

After this difficult defeat, the France team will have to find mental and physical resources to go for the bronze against Lithuania. A Lithuania which it did not expect much from its meeting against the United States and which finished its game earlier. Last year, the Baltics hooked the French in the final of the Euro Challengers U16. Will they be able to do the same this Sunday? Start of response at 6:30 p.m. this Sunday.

The reaction of coach Bernard Faure:

“We knew it would be a tight match, the public pushed … We lacked confidence, we were feverish, it was seen on the free throws. In the zone, we had a lack of patience. We have good opportunities to come back and pass in front – we passed in front -, when we are at +4, that the coach takes a time-out, I think that the changeover is not far from happening… We have two/three chances to score, we don’t score, then we are a little in doubt, we look at the clock, we don’t make the right choices in attack. We didn’t pass the ball properly, and above all we didn’t have any recovery balls. We wanted to solicit them on their defensive withdrawal, we did not control the defensive rebound sufficiently. We scratched a few balls in defense but not enough to really play fast. We had asked our point guards to push the ball and it was Elidjah (Lamart) who pushed it the best, Théo (Pichard) slowed down the game, Illan (Piétrus) too… I think the strongest team this (Saturday) evening won. We are not far away, I think the score does not reflect the gap between the two teams, but the moment when you have to be good and the room grows, you make mistakes.

What to remember from the French match against Spain

  • the 11/25 on free throws des Bleuets will have weighed heavily in the balance.
  • The french team failed to control the defensive rebound (20 defensive rebounds for 15 opposing offensive rebounds). In total, she took 18 average rebounds than the Bleuets.
  • The leaders remained very discreetin particular Zaccharie Risacher, little used but not very active to take offensive responsibilities. The ASVEL winger attempted only 3 shots in 29 minutes.
  • Noah Penda has managed to return to the gameplaying 18 minutes this Saturday, for 5 points and 5 rebounds.
  • Spanish basketball seems to be one step ahead of French basketball, despite the stacking of strong French potential.

In Malaga,

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July 9, 2022 at 10:43 am

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