Fournier Contributes 6 Points as France Edge Past the Philippines
The French men’s national basketball team on Friday kicked off another 3-day weekend exhibition tour in preparation for the FIBA World Cup that takes place in two weeks. This time the Blue-White Tour is in the town of Antibes. France struggled from the perimeter but still managed to beat the Philippines 75-68 in the first of three consecutive days of games. France were 2-for-17 from 3-point range while the Philippines were 12-of-29 from deep.
It was the 1st contest played since Orlando Magic wing Evan Fournier officially was announced as a member of the 12-man squad that will be heading to Spain. Coach Vincent Collet had Fournier come off the bench as usual. Evan finished with 6 points, 2 rebounds, and a block on 2-for-5 shooting (0-of-2 from long distance) in twelve minutes of action.
All six of those points came in the first half as Evan did an outstanding job of utilizing his quickness and size advantage over the Philippines’ small guards to attack the paint at will and convert on his aggressive takes to the rim. Fournier displayed a wide variety of off-ball cuts and dribble drives. You forget the 21-year-old is 6′ 7″ when he moves so fast. He just needs more touches. Surprisingly, Evan’s biggest problem on the court currently is that he just cannot drain a 3-pointer when he’s left wide open. Both missed attempts he didn’t have anyone within a few yards of him. Hand in Evan’s face, no problem. Fifteen feet of space to take your time and release, nope.
San Antonio Spur Boris Diaw saw his first court action since winning the NBA Finals. Boris looked rusty as he had 1 point, 10 rebounds, and 4 assists. Nicolas Batum tallied a respectable 16-point and 11-rebound double-double.
Andray Blatche believe it or not plays for the Philippines. Blatche scored 12 points on 5-of-17 shooting. Both Blatche and Fournier ended up rolling their ankles in this contest. Evan’s at least came as a result of taking a hard charge on a driving Blatche.
France continues their Antibes Tournament with Day 2 action on Saturday as they take on Ukraine.
Below is part 3 of the French Basketball Federation’s summer series on their national team. Fournier once more gets a lot of air time.