Women’s World Cup – French team eliminated in quarterfinals by Belgium (86-65)


Big disappointment for France Friday in Tenerife. Totally off-topic in the first half, the Blues slumped against Belgium in the quarterfinals (86-65). They miss at the same time an opportunity to find the last square for the first time since … 1953. For their first World Cup, the Belgians, they will challenge the USA Saturday.

The broken dream. French basketball players will not be on the podium of the World Championship in Tenerife (Spain), goal posted when arriving in the Canaries, after their defeat in the quarterfinals against Belgium 86 to 65, Friday. Is there a curse around the French women’s basketball team at the World Championship? Friday, they had an ideal opportunity to see for the first time since 1953 the last square of the World. It’s a failure for this team on all European podiums since 2009 (gold in 2009, bronze in 2011 and silver in 2013, 2015 and 2017).

Opposite, Belgium’s 37-year-old Ann Wauters continues to surf on her first international podium at the Euro (bronze) last year and rises to the semifinals of her first World Cup. In Tenerife, Valérie Garnier’s daughters have never managed to impose their game on an entire meeting for forty minutes. In the quarter-finals, the Blues were taken at the entrance throat by the Belgians, like Kyara Linskens’ counter against Sandrine Gudas in the first French possession. What to throw this positive energy, the Belgian side, that the French coach wanted so much to avoid.

The Belgian surfer, with the formidable duo led by Emma Meesseman and Hanne Mestadagh, recited a real basketball lesson during the first two quarter (26 points between them), creating a gap of 22 points in 20 minutes which has put the French on the carpet.

Revolt too late

Fifty-three points conceded (against only 31 registered) in a half-time, it’s been a long time since it had happened to the Blue in international competition. The revolt started by the leader Romane Bernies at the start of the last quarter, when the gap was 19 points, was insufficient to climb the slope, despite a very good combativeness displayed in the last ten minutes of play.

This setback sounds like a first alarm for this young team (average age 25), with a composition assumed by the coach Valarie Garnier. His lack of experience was in crucial moments, as in the last quarter-time of the group game against Canada, losing 71 to 60. The absence of a leader also, for the first competition without the iconic captain Céline Dumerc, retired in the summer of 2017.

“We are in this apprenticeship, we wanted to, we want them to live this experience, ” explained Garnier before the quarter. At two years of the Olympic Games in Tokyo, the French women will finish in the first six nations of the Euro next year, in Serbia and Latvia , in early summer 2019, to play the qualifying tournaments. At the risk of not making the trip to Japan in the summer of 2020.