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31 August
15 September, 2019
10 Evan Fournier (FRA)
Game Report
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Fournier, France outduel Germany in enthralling game of runs

BEIJING (China) - In a game of incredible runs, France's opening massive salvo gave them enough of a cushion to stave off the repeated streaky rallies from Germany to take a 78-74 victory in a top-tier matchup at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

France opened the game with a huge 14-0 blast and limited the Germans to only 4 points in the first quarter. The 4-point effort of the latter is their lowest tally in a quarter of a World Cup game.

Germany kept fighting back within striking distance but France always had a counter ready to stave off the challenge.  Evan Fournier uncorked a cold-blooded, one-foot fadeaway jumper to give his country a 76-70 lead with 32.5 seconds left and a piercing dagger to the hearts of the Germans.


Turning Point:  Although it was a close game, the 14-0 start of France was a huge advantage that put Germany in catch-up mode the whole game. The strong start afforded France to make mistakes but kept the Germans at bay to pull out the victory.

TCL Player of the Game:  Evan Fournier was a man among boys, recording his first-ever double-double effort in a World Cup game with a massive stat line, collecting 26 points, 10 rebounds and added 3 assists for good measure.

Stats Don't Lie: 5 blocks for Rudy Gobert and 5 blocks for Germany. As expected, the interior defensive presence of Gobert was a huge difference in stifling Germany's offense. The game-changing defensive prowess of the reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year will be a key weapon for France in this campaign.

Bottom Line: The win by France has a huge implication down the road when the Second Round commences, as they will carry over their record and face the top two teams from the "Group of Death" which features Canada, Lithuania Australia, and Senegal. The European squad will be hoping to sweep the group in their next two games against the Dominican Republic and Jordan barring any upsets.

They Said: We started exactly the way we wanted. We were very impressive in the first eight minutes. For sure they could have scored a basket, but I think there was not one easy shot during those moments. That’s because the players were involved, they were very aggressive and smart. We should have used the start a little bit better, but unfortunately, we made some mistakes on offense and that gave Germany an opportunity to come back. But fortunately the last five minutes we played the same as the beginning and we could get a lead. In the second half, we really dropped down and Germany scored 30 points in the third quarter. It was a little bit us, and also we have to give credit to Germany. For sure we have the win to play defense for 40 minutes but even playing 40 minutes, the offense can sometimes find the situation to score. The last quarter we controlled better but they had the momentum and they pushed us. But my team showed they have spirit. - France head coach Vincent Collet

We started the game with great intensity, sharing the ball offensively, running and being really aggressive. They couldn’t get anything on offense - both the first and third quarter. We let them get back into the game with turnovers and rebounds. We have to do a better job with that. Overall it was a good win for us. The first game is always kind of tricky because you have so much energy. You want to do good. You want to play well. It’s tricky, so a good win. - France guard Evan Fournier

We don’t need to talk about proving ourselves. We are a good team, we have to believe that we are a good team. We cannot doubt ourselves, especially after this kind of game. The first half is not what we can do. The second half showed what we can do. Against any good team, if you play like that in the first half, it’s very hard to win. - Germany captain Robin Benzing

This was a huge game for both teams. We knew exactly what they were doing and they knew exactly what we were doing. We got the shots, especially in the beginning, that we wanted to get. We didn’t make them. We started getting nervous and when we got to the basket, Gobert was a huge factor, especially blocking shots. Then after that, it took a while but my team has a lot of heart. I’m very proud of them for coming back. In a game, you start this bad and are down 24 points it looked really bad. My team has a lot of heart and we will bounce back. We have a big game against the Dominican Republic in two days. That’s our only focus now. - Germany head coach Henrik Rodl