France Defeats Finland; Fournier with 3 Points
We’re one week away from the start of the FIBA World Cup in Spain. The French national basketball team is in Strasbourg this weekend for a 2-day exhibition series. On Saturday they defeated Finland 74-69. France finished the game on a 17-2 run in the last four minutes to nab the victory. Finland doesn’t sound like a basketball power, but they were a pleasant 2013 EuroBasket surprise and it looks like they’ll be poised to impress again. The Orlando Magic’s Evan Fournier only played 6 minutes and scored 3 points on 1-for-3 shooting, but sat the entire second half.
Evan didn’t really have a good second period, but didn’t warrant being benched the rest of the game. He committed a turnover when Finland trapped him just past halfcourt. Evan then missed an open 3-pointer and was also forced into a tough running floater with the shot clock winding down. Finland went on a 17-2 run of their own in the third quarter to make it an even contest heading into the final ten minutes. Nicolas Batum led all scorers with 28 points. Boris Diaw tallied 10 points, 11 assists, and 6 rebounds.
The French team wore white sleeved jerseys that actually looked pretty decent. Something for Magic fans to keep an eye out in the future. France will play Australia once again on Sunday in the last exhibition contest of the Blue-White Tour before the World Cup starts on August 30th. Dante Exum was miserable in last week’s meeting.
Below is part 4 of the French Basketball Federation’s summer series on the national team. This episode doesn’t show much of Fournier, but there is a lot of English dialect spoken when the Larry O’Brien trophy makes a visit as well as when FIBA referees come in to give the French squad a seminar on defensive fouls.