The Blues, without really knowing how, are in the semi-finals of EuroBasket. The Poles, without really knowing how, are also in the last four of the competition. This is how we end up with a rather improbable France – Poland poster this Friday evening at 5:15 p.m. on the Berlin side (on W9)with a place for the grand finale at stake. Come on, preview!
We still find it hard to believe. First Cedi Osman, then Simone Fontecchio, no really, that’s too much. Twice we thought the Blues were good to go home, twice they were helped by the basketball gods who obviously wanted to see Rudy Gobert and his friends in the Final Four. In case of final success, the nickname of this version of the French team is already found: after the Barjots (handball) and the Braqueuses (women’s basketball), here are the Miraculés. But before considering a second European title, it will be necessary to pass the obstacle of Poland. Clearly, we did not expect the Poles at this level of the competition, especially after having taken 30 pawns in the face by Finland in the first round. But they are the ones who cleared the defending champion – Luka Doncic’s Slovenia – on Friday evening after a crazy match where they achieved a dream first half (including a 9/19 at 3- points), before finding the resources to snatch the win at the end of the match when we thought they were burnt after a cataclysmic third quarter. A meeting in the image of this completely crazy Euro, where absolutely everything seems possible.
The great danger for the Blues today is to believe that the alignment of planets from which they currently benefit already guarantees them a place in the final of the Euro. Basically, after finishing third in the group of death, Evan Fournier’s band was logically to cross paths with Turkey, Serbia and Slovenia for a hyper hardcore sequence. “In a normal world” anyway. There, the EDF will face the 13th nation in the world after having been miraculously faced with the Turks then the Italians, who had sent the Serbs of Nikola Jokic on vacation during the eighth. On paper of course, there’s no picture and it’s a golden opportunity for Vincent Collet’s troops to play the grand final on Sunday evening against Spain or Germany. But whatever one may say, the Poles are not there by chance. Already quarter-finalist of the 2019 World Cup, Poland plays today without complex and is itself carried by the wave of the irrational. Mateusz Ponitka has become only the third player in Euro history to finish a match with a triple-double against Slovenia (26 points, 16 rebounds, 10 assists). AJ Slaughter, who we know well in France after his stints in Strasbourg, ASVEL, Cholet or even Chalon, pulled out all the stops in money while Luka Doncic’s team broke their teeth. And Franco-Polish Aaron Cel is literally living a daydream alongside all his friends. So be careful, really be careful.
France : Andrew Albicy, Moustapha Fall, Evan Fournier, Rudy Gobert, Thomas Heurtel, Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot, Theo Maledon, Amath M’Baye, Elie Okobo, Vincent Poirier, Terry Tarpey, Guerschon Yabusele
Poland: Aleksander Balcerowski, Aaron Cel, Aleksander Dziewa, Jakub Garbacz, Lukasz Kolenda, Michal Michalak, Dominik Olejniczak, Mateusz Ponitka, Jakub Schenk, AJ Slaughter, Michal Sokolowski, Jaroslaw Zyskowski
The journey of the two teams
- France – Germany : 63-76
- France – Lithuania: 77-73
- France – Hungary: 78-74
- France – Bosnia: 81-68
- France – Slovenia : 82-88
- France – Turkey: 87-86
- France – Italy: 93-85
- Poland – Czech Republic: 99-84
- Poland – Finland : 59-89
- Poland – Israel: 85-76
- Poland – Netherlands: 75-69
- Poland – Serbia : 69-96
- Poland – Ukraine: 94-86
- Poland – Slovenia: 90-87
The Blues will have to play a diligent match – finally limiting ball losses – to avoid giving the Poles too much confidence. Because a confident Poland is an ultra-dangerous Poland that can shock the basketball world. Mateusz Ponitka and his teammates proved it against the reigning European champions, for the French team to do what it takes to show who’s boss.