Vincent Collet (coach of the France team after the 81-68 victory over Bosnia): “We played a serious game. The beginning was difficult because the Bosnians were excellent and motivated. We knew it. For them, it was an opportunity to earn their ticket to the round of 16. Here they are now back to the wall against Lithuania, if it beats Hungary today. But we were solid in the second quarter, where we created a difference, in particular by being good against the zone defense. The return from the locker room was more difficult, we missed open shots, lost our rhythm. They came back, but slowly, thanks to our defensive efforts.
We didn’t panic and put our hands on the game in the last period, thanks in particular to Thomas’ big game (Heurtel, 14 points, 8 assists, 7 rebounds), which helped us a lot in the organization of the game, while making real defensive efforts. We have more rotations, and the Bosnians ended up getting tired after our efforts, at the end of the game. There was also more accuracy in our offensive choices. It remains to solve this problem of stray bullets (18), our Achilles heel. If we took away five, we could approach 85-90 points, which will be necessary as we move forward in the competition. There is still work to be done, but we are making progress. »
“Today, we see that there are still things and sequences on which we can progress”
Rudy Gobert (pivot of the France team): “There were times when we could have lost our minds. I’m proud that we stayed together, that we were able to keep control. We continued to move the ball, to play despite everything, and that’s a mark of maturity. The state of mind was great, the match was very physical, and when we made mistakes, we were able to pull ourselves together. All the players on the field contributed something. Now we are stars in Lithuania (the French victory keeps the Balts alive in the tournament). It’s funny and it’s fun. But if we play them again later, I don’t know if they’ll say thank you (he’s laughing).
Regarding the idea that we could have let the match slip away (for ranking reasons, which the Lithuanians feared), we never thought about this kind of thing. We can imagine and say what we want. The reality is the field. It’s never perfect, but when we have our focus, our determination, we can be an incredible team. Today, we see that there are still things and sequences on which we can progress, but overall, we displayed the mentality that was needed. Each match is an opportunity to progress. tomorrow (Wednesday), Slovenia will be a big test. Regardless of our final ranking. If we want the gold medal, we know that we will have to beat strong teams. You prefer to play them later, but we can’t calculate everything. The thing you can calculate is how we play. »
Aziz Bekir (Bosnia coach): “We gave the maximum, given the circumstances. The reasons why we lose are very clear. We leave 21 offensive rebounds to France and we commit 19 loss of ball. And despite all that, we had a chance to reverse the momentum at the end of the third quarter and win. It shows our ability, even when playing very badly, to remain dangerous. With that mindset, you can beat almost anyone. Many of our mistakes can be explained by the fatigue of my players, who with each possession, each movement, try to save energy for money-time. And against a team like France, it costs you dearly. »