Nando de Colo and Nicolas Batum back with the France team for the 2023 World Cup

France basketball team coach Vincent Collet in Saitama, Japan, July 28, 2021.

The coach of the French basketball team, Vincent Collet, unveiled, on Wednesday June 28, the list of players selected to compete in the Basketball World Cup, which will take place from August 25 to September 10 in the Philippines, Indonesia and Japan.

If the new star of the San Antonio Spurs, Victor Wembanyama, will not be traveling, the France team will still be able to rely on experienced executives, in this case Nando De Colo, Nicolas Batum and Rudy Gobert. The first two had given up on Euro 2022 – France had been defeated by Spain in the final – to spare themselves.

It is “two very important returns, experienced players who were part of previous adventures, two of the leaders of the Olympic team who brought back the silver from Tokyo. They will help us find the binder that we lost a little last year.underlined Vincent Collet.

Without Embiid and Wembanyama

Victor Wembanyama, just “drafted” in first position by the Texas franchise, announced on Monday that he would ignore the competition to focus on his first NBA season to come, even though he had proclaimed his desire to play this World Cup with the Blues.

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” We tried [de le faire changer d’avis] but there are a lot of issues around him”commented Vincent Collet in the program “Tout le sport” on France 3. “He has entered into a new life and I believe that there are fears in relation to the sequence of the championship this year, the eventual competition this summer and then a first season in the NBA with enormous expectations. This is the reason why he declined this selection. »

The Franco-Cameroonian pivot Joel Embiid, best player of the last NBA regular season, another notable absentee from this list, “still don’t know if he wants to” to play for the France team, said Blues manager Boris Diaw on Wednesday.

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France leads him an assiduous court, but faces fierce competition from the United States. “I am in contact with his representatives. There’s nothing new: he still doesn’t know which national team he wants to play for.”, said Boris Diaw. Joel Embiid recently acquired French and American nationalities.

Several surprises

In order to densify the interior sector, the list of twelve names unveiled on Wednesday also includes interior Mathias Lessort, who is coming out of a brilliant Euroleague season with Partizan Belgrade (he has since signed at Panathinaikos, in Greece). Second best scorer and best rebounder in the competition, he can play as a strong winger and pivot. As a result, Real Madrid pivot Vincent Poirier, an important player in the rotation at the Olympic tournament two years ago in Tokyo, was not selected.


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We can note several surprises among the back lines, in particular at the position of leader, with Sylvain Francisco (Peristeri, in Greece) preferred to Andrew Albicy and Killian Hayes, and, at the position of winger, with Yakuba Ouattara, captain of Monaco, recent champion of France.

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Pocket leader (1.79 m) explosive, Sylvain Francisco (25) will participate in his first international competition, after having helped the team to qualify for the World Cup, playing his six matches with the Blues during the qualifications, end 2022 and early 2023.

A time tipped to join the group, veteran Rodrigue Beaubois (35, Efes Istanbul) will ultimately not honor his first selection.

The France team, bronze medalists at the 2019 World Cup in China, was placed in group H with Canada, Latvia and Lebanon. She will play her first round – and the second if qualified – in Jakarta (Indonesia), before possibly heading to Pasay City (Philippines) for the quarter-finals and the rest of the competition.

The list of 12 Blues selected for the 2023 Basketball World Cup

Leaders and guards: Nando de Colo (Asvel), Frank Ntilikina (Dallas Mavericks, United States), Sylvain Francisco (Peristeri, Greece), Elie Okobo (Monaco).

Wingers: Evan Fournier (New York Knicks, USA), Yakuba Ouattara (Monaco), Nicolas Batum (Los Angeles Clippers, USA), Terry Tarpey (Monaco).

Interiors: Guerschon Yabusele (Real Madrid, Spain), Rudy Gobert (Minnesota Timberwolves, USA), Moustapha Fall (Olympiacos, Greece), Mathias Lessort (Panathinaikos, Greece).

The World with AFP


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