The pain is acute for the Olympic vice-champions, “did not come to finish second“, as they repeated, a year after another lost final at the Tokyo Olympics.
To add to the pain, they bow to the intimate Spanish enemy who has already ejected them from the final of Euro-2011, the Olympics-2012, Euro-2015 at home or even the Olympics. 2016.
“So close, it’s hard to pass it up“, recognized hot the pivot Rudy Gobert.
The Pau brothers and Marc Gasol retired, another sibling has donned the clothes of executioner of the Blues: Willy and Juancho Hernangomez. 37-year-old veteran Rudy Fernandez, the tie man on Tony Parker in the lost 2011 final, had never really taken them off.
Touched by grace, the interior of the Denver Nuggets Juancho Hernangomez (27 points) bullied the Blues from a distance. He who was shooting at 30% success behind the line, signed a 7/9 (78%). His brother Willy added 14 points.
A year after the final of the Tokyo Olympics, the Olympic vice-champions again fail on the last step.
Except that this time, it’s not against the intimidating United States but a novice Spanish team, with only eight players who have already played in a major tournament.
When opposite, they were among the band of Evan Fournier (23 points) and Rudy Gobert (6 points and 6 rebounds) to have participated in the Japanese adventure.
Overwhelmed by the challenge and the Spanish defensive fury, Vincent Collet’s men let the final slip away in the first half. They were never able to fully overcome the 21-point gap suffered in the second quarter (47-26).
– Led all game –
Collet had warned: “the finale must be a work.“His men did not deliver the expected picture, the trembling brush adding to the usual inaccuracies (19 bullet losses).
Finally, the final faithfully represents their journey: apart from the Polish parenthesis, nothing has ever been simple. “You never let go“, applauded the coach after the miraculous qualification against Italy, the second in a row after that against Turkey.
Once again its players did not sink at the height of the storm, they even maintained hope. In particular Evan Fournier, found captain. His five points just before the return from the locker room made it possible to find the floor only ten lengths behind (47-37).
The momentum of rebound continued, with a 20-2 inflicted, until briefly returning to three points (49-46). Without ever being able to return to this final that they only led one possession (1-0).