The tricolor basketball therefore decided to visit all the emotions available.
Two days after the exhilarating success gleaned in front of the United States by the troops of Vincent Collet (83-76), it is with a disappointing introduction that the French women's team launched its Olympic tournament on Tuesday morning.
For his debut in the competition, Endy Miem and his partners lost (74-70) against Japan, the host country.
“Japan is developing a very special game,” explains Bourges leader Alice Duchet.
It runs very quickly, relaunches very quickly, it's very different from what we see elsewhere.
We were in difficulty over a few details, we will have to go back to work very quickly to get the second game.
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Because if they will be favorites in three days before Nigeria, the Blue will nevertheless have to be much more complete. This Tuesday, five years after the setback conceded against the Asian champions at the Rio Games, the Habs did not put all the ingredients to maintain the advantage acquired during the first quarter. “They made the difference in terms of aggression,” explains Gabby Williams, whose late-game interception helped save the goal average a bit. It's hard to play 40 minutes against an aggressive team like that. The Franco-American, however, does not seek any excuse for the unusual and potentially disturbing schedule of the meeting. If Valérie Garnier assures us that "Japan is not the kind of team that we like to play at 10 o'clock in the morning",Williams wants to believe that neither the unusual schedule of the meeting, nor the awakening at dawn (6 a.m.) had an impact on the result. “Yes it's a special time, she nods, yes it's hard to play at that time, but it's the same for Japan, right? "
“This match was played on aggressiveness, in attack as in defense, insists Sandrine Gruda. I have the impression that usually France is best known for its defense. There, we take 74 points, it's too much for us. We have been pierced many times and it has cost us the victory. "
No catastrophism, however, in the French ranks after this inaugural setback. Certainly, warns Endy Miem, “we'll have to put our heads right. "But we do not have time to mope," continues the captain aware that, in such a tough group (Japan, Nigeria, USA), the French have already reduced their margin of error on the quarterfinal route. “It's always about opening up a competition better with success,” admits Valérie Garnier. But this defeat does not change the goal that we have set ourselves to reach the quarter-finals, nor the quality of the teams that we will find if we reach them. We have the quarters in mind. We have two games left for that, we will fight to win them. "