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Egloff favours a thrilling third dimension to France
UDINE (FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship 2016) – They may have been hugely successful down the years, but there can’t have been many occasions when France have run their opponents off the floor in the same commanding style as at the FIBA U16 Women’s European Championship 2016.
For a nation who are arguably known more for their potent ingredients of defence and an effective half-court game, the team in Udine have added a breath-taking third dimension with some delightfully devastating transition.
France look simply unstoppable on the fast break and this gives their opponents a new headache at the top of the scouting report; and maybe one which has not been written down too much in the past.
"I think it is the goal of every team of France to play defence really hard and to get the ball and fast break, since having this kind of motion in our play means the ball is always very alive for us," mused head coach Julien Egloff, whose team are still flawless after five games.
"I don’t think it is exactly new, because it is what we are trying to do with the kids now in France and also at the clubs. This is the way to play – to be able to play both fast and slow.
"I feel that if you can play fast then you can always play slow more easily. If you are only used to playing slow, it can be more difficult to adjust and then have to play a fast style."
It’s been refreshing and an absolute delight for the neutral, with France cramming the highlights reel with some outstanding transitional plays – naturally launched from the more familiar and unbreakable foundation of their renowned defence.
They have been so good that even their Quarter-Final against Lithuania was a one-sided affair, as they blew their opponents apart in brutal fashion with a 76-36 success. France now find themselves 40 minutes away from a medal and two victories from landing a first title at the event since way back in 2007.
Yet despite their absolute dominance so far and utter ruthlessness whenever they get ahead in games, Coach Egloff is confident his team has what it takes if they now have to get involved in much tighter match-ups – starting with a tasty Semi-Final tussle with Germany.
The togetherness and spirit of France is just as important according to Coach Egloff
He said, "We have had close games in preparation so I do not worry about this, because we know that we have players from 1 to 12 on our roster who can play.
"We have depth and choices, so if we play the way that has been successful so far and we maintain the great team spirit and atmosphere that we have, I am sure we can still be very strong.
"Germany are a good team and we lost against them during preparation, so revenge will be good extra motivation for us," concluded the play-caller.
Germany have also not lost since arriving in Italy and will play in an historic first ever Semi-Final clash.