After its quiet victory against the Netherlands last Sunday in Rouen, theFrench team continued its preparation for theEuro 2022 with a perilous journey Italyin Bologna. A remake of the quarter-final of the last Olympic Games, which saw Vincent Collet’s men win again against their transalpine neighbor (78-77). Not without trembling…
The Blues initially took time to get into their game. Too expensive and unable to find good firing positions, due to mobility and enemy defensive activity, they left the The blue team take the lead (19-13). In the wake of Simone Fontecchionew Jazz winger, successful from afar. Coming off the bench, Nico Mannion also hurt his defenders, between his vivacity and his arabesques (as on this alley-oop for Paul Biligha).
In the second quarter, the dynamic and spontaneous Nico Mannion continues to cause misery for France, still as static and predictable on the offensive level. Finally, two baskets ofElie Okobo and the energy ofIsaia Cordinier revive the Olympic vice-champions in title, finally able to project themselves quickly in counter-attack or to attract faults in penetration (and therefore free throws). To hold on (36-36), the players of Gianmarco Pozzecco rely on their quality of outside shooting.
The Fontecchio/Gallinari duo responds to the Gobert/Yabusele duo
Upon returning from the locker room, the two teams began to play evenly, each of them relying on what made them strong before the break. Namely the baskets of the unstoppable Simone Fontecchio in the Italian camp and the intensity of the trio of substitutes Elie Okobo – Isaïa Cordinier – Vincent Poirier in the French camp.
Nevertheless, as they limit their ball losses without losing address, we feel that the Blues are gaining momentum, like a diesel (54-50).
In the last act, carried by the work of Vincent Poirier on the inside, France left its mark on the game and turned very quickly to +7. The problem is that the veteran Danilo Gallinari gained confidence and, as Simone Fontecchio remained elusive, that was enough to bring Italy back into contact, to the delight of the public. Opposite, the pair Guerschon Yabusele — Rudy Gobert pulls out the muscles under the panels. Insufficient, however, to prevent the experienced Gallinari from equalizing 23 seconds from the end, to send everyone into extra time (69-69).
In overtime, therefore, the French continue to rely on their interiors, Rudy Gobert and Guerschon Yabusele, who continue to attract faults.
These devils of Danilo Gallinari and Simone Fontecchio, again, respond to them as best they can. It’s only a friendly match, but the contacts are rough and the whistles are numerous. Free throws follow one another, but Vincent Collet’s troops do not take advantage of them, which gives Nico Mannion the opportunity to win his team, 15 seconds from the end. A missed mid-range shot, which gives the victory to the visitors (78-77)!
After a sluggish performance, the Blues of Rudy Gobert (15 points, 7 rebounds), Vincent Poirier (14 points, 13 rebounds), Elie Okobo (11 points) and Guerschon Yabusele (11 points) thus won in a snatch against the Italians. Italians guided by Simone Fontecchio (24 points) and Danilo Gallinari (13 points), but too undisciplined to hope to win, when they had the place.