Basketball: The Blues are fixed

The 2023 Men’s Basketball World Cup qualifying draw took place on Tuesday, and placed France in the group of Hungary, Montenegro and Portugal.

Bronze medalist at the 2019 World Cup in China, the French men’s basketball team hopes to do even better in 2023, during the World Cup which will take place in Indonesia, Japan and the Philippines. Since Tuesday, the Blues, still coached by Vincent Collet (who has extended his contract with the France team until 2024, while coaching Boulogne-Levallois for the next two seasons), know a little more on the way which will lead them to Asia, or not, in two years. The draw for the qualifying phase placed the Olympic runners-up in Group E, along with Portugal, Hungary and Montenegro. On paper, there is no photo, the Blues seem much superior to these teams.

Portugal has never participated in any World Cup and has not played a Euro since its 21st place in 2011. Hungary has never played in a World Cup either, and finished 16th in the last Euro, in 2017. The most dangerous team could be Montenegro, 25th in the 2019 World Cup and 13th in Euro 2017. The first three teams in the group will advance to the second qualifying round after the six matches. Meetings that will take place without NBA players and Euroleague players, which will obviously smooth the level between the teams.

Collet is suspicious

Vincent Collet is moreover suspicious: “ This draw is more complicated than it seems. Indeed if the teams of the first round seem affordable, the crossing with the pool F (composed of Bosnia-Herzegovina, Lithuania, Bulgaria and the Czech Republic, editor’s note) will force us to achieve a perfect course from the start of these qualifications. We will have to assume our rank, even if we know that the configuration of the France team will be very far from that of the silver medalist at the Tokyo Games. Nothing will be easy on this journey until 2023. We will have to be ready from the start in the face of serious clients from our continent. We know that we will have to call on a large number of Team France Basket players to achieve our goals, but I am convinced that the players called up will do their utmost to help the France team to qualify for the World Cup. Remember that before a possible 2023 World Cup, the Blues will compete next summer for the Euro in Germany, where they will aim for the gold medal.

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