The French team will be there for the quarter-finals of the Euros and the reverse would be a huge disappointment. But she will appear there on Wednesday saddled with two faults that have plagued her since the start of her summer campaign: a tendency to fill the wagons with stray bullets (21 this Saturday) and chronic irregularity even within meetings, with these times of 19-0 conceded between 23. minutes (49-38) and 31st minutes (49-57).
Stunned by this reversal, while in the first half they showed a good mood and even dominance (31-15, 15), the Blues came close to elimination. Or rather two free throws, the one missed by Cleveland Cavaliers winger Cedi Osman at +2 for the Turks (77-75) and the possession that followed seven seconds from the end of the fourth quarter after an unsportsmanlike foul against Timothé Luwaw-Cabarrot.
The miracle came after Evan Fournier’s interception on the outside, when the ball was intended for Bugrahan Tuncer, who replaced Shane Larkin, unsustainable in the second half (14 of his 22 points). That was materialized by Rudy Gobert’s dunk to tie the game in extremis.
“We almost passed with Osman’s two throws, but we didn’t let go”, blows Amath Mbaye, very useful in the relay of Guerschon Yabusele who is too short to play money-time. Uncertainty did not subside in overtime, the Blues continued to blow the heat (87-82 with 1’30” from the end), and then the cold, with the last potentially decisive Turkish possession (87-86) after two missed shots by Gobert. A rare blemish in the colossal performance of the pivot (20 points, 17 rebounds), essential for his offensive rebounds in the game. Fate was finally cast on Furkan Korkmaz’s stray ball, which was saved by M’Baye.
The Blues will therefore see the Top 8, which is better than at the previous Euro (elimination in 8th place in 2017 by Germany, 84-81). Weighed down by their flaws, they will leave there on Wednesday in the position of outsiders, which they prefer, against the winner of Serbia-Italy (Sunday at 18:00), the first of these two countries announced as one of the favorites for the championship. tournament. with his duo Nikola Jokic-Vasilje Micic. But with what the Blues have just experienced, the rest will just be a bonus.