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Collet: “It is obviously our worst match in these qualifications”

The national coach looks back on the defeat against Great Britain (73-94) on Monday, in Montenegro.

Vincent Collet (coach of the France team) : “We played very badly. We started without energy, without intensity and against a very good team. Great Britain is to be congratulated. They were like possessed! Even if both teams qualified (for Euro 2022), it is obvious that the game was more important for them than for us … Especially after the last game, because we had beaten them by 23 points. I think they wanted to take their revenge. This proves that they deserve their qualification. Yet we talked about it this morning … But we weren’t ready. And as often in this kind of case, instead of trying to come back by working hard, with patience and intelligence, we panicked. Everyone wanted to do better, but not in the right way. And the British kept going. Soko and Nelson interiors largely dominated us. With all of that, it’s hard to win a game … It’s obviously our worst game in qualifying. (…) We are one of the best defenses of these qualifications. But tonight, especially in the first half but also in the second, the British had easy baskets in the “back door”, on “drives”, because we were rushing, without patience. It shows we weren’t in the right frame of mind. And Great Britain had a great game, with energy, but not only. They played smart, they defended together. (…)

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The lessons for the Olympics? Not much. Now is the time to observe. It will be time to make the list in a few months. Everyone knows we have other players. We do not forget that we are qualified. It’s not that simple … We were in a difficult group because Great Britain had to be last. And they showed what they showed (smile). Our group was very tough! It was even harder than in qualifying for the World Cup because we lost some players, leaders, especially those who joined the Euroleague. But we win every time. We have a lot of players, young people. Obviously, this match will not affect the standings. But I am disappointed for the supporters. We show aggressive defense, heart, team play. Today, that was not the case … But to return to the lessons of the window, we must continue to work because basketball is at a high level everywhere. And if you lower it a little, you have no headroom. We must continue to work with our young people, to develop players, because if players who have evolved during this window wanted to go to the Euroleague for example, they may not play the next one. It is important that we continue to work with young people to maintain our level because we cannot imagine not going to the Euro next time … ”(in press conference)


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