France will face China in the quarterfinals of the Women’s Basketball World Cup on Thursday, according to the draw made on Tuesday in which it avoided the United States, three-time defending champions. Les Bleues had been beaten by the Chinese (103-70) during the qualifying tournament for the World Cup in February in Belgrade. The quarter-final is scheduled for Thursday at 10:00 a.m. (French time).
If they avoided the Americans, they come across an opponent who has impressed since the start of the competition, only beaten by the United States (77-63) and who averaged 88.8 points and conceded 57, 4 per game. “China remains a challenge. Even if we may think that China is better than the United States. It will be complicated” reacted to the press the French coach, Jean-Aimé Toupane.
“It’s a real opportunity. We have a chance (of winning), however small it may be, we’re going to play it hard. Don’t tell yourself that it’s lost in advance” he added.
Les Bleues on the way to the semi-finals?
Captain Sarah Michel stressed for her part, before the draw, that “China plays basketball well and quickly, it’s hard.” “We beat them in preparation (in August during a training match in Paris, editor’s note), they lacked people but so did we,” she recalled.
If they qualify on Thursday, Les Bleues will face the winner of Belgium-Australia in the semi-finals. In the other part of the table, the United States will challenge Serbia and Canada will be opposed to Puerto Rico.
Les Bleues could have faced a more affordable opponent than China, either Belgium or Puerto Rico, if they had beaten Serbia on Tuesday (68-62 defeat). They would then have been seeded.