A little over two weeks before the start of the Games, the powerful basketball teams of Spain and France, both in the men’s and women’s categories, will be tested on two occasions, on Thursday in Malaga and on Saturday in Paris.
Thursday’s game “will be a change of toughness and brutal talent,” Spanish coach Sergio Scariolo warned on Tuesday, whose team will face their third friendly match against France looking to Tokyo.
After two resounding victories over Iran (96-53 and 88-61) in his first two preparation matches, Scariolo believes that the match against France at the Martín Carpena pavilion in Malaga “will tell us where we have to improve”.
Spain will face a France that also has this clash against the current world champions to measure their level for the Olympic event.
The coach Vincent Collet will be able to recover Utah Jazz center Rudy Gobert in Malaga, while Nicolas Batum (Los Angeles Clippers) will join the group on Friday, after the end of the NBA season.
Collet will have eleven players, including Isaïa Cordinier and Paul Lacombe, who are not part of the 12 called up for Tokyo.
“As a coach, we are going to try to look at a maximum of things. Especially the way we play together, small details that give the feeling that we are a block,” said the French coach, who hopes that the match against Spain will be a test revealing.
For the French women’s team, this double duel comes after their fifth consecutive defeat in a European final when they lost to Serbia on June 27.
A European that was also bitter for the Spanish, who could only be seventh, their worst result since 2011, which prevented them from getting into the qualifying tournaments for the 2022 World Cup, for which they only have the option of being champions. Olympics in Tokyo.
Spain, European champion in 2017 and 2019, silver medal in the Rio 2016 Olympic Games and bronze in the 2018 World Cup, will recover Alba Torrens, one of its pillars, who could not be in the European after testing positive in covid-19 five days before the competition.
– Thursday, in Malaga:
(17h30 GMT) Spain – France (men)
(20h00 GMT) Spain – France (women)
– Saturday, in Paris-Bercy:
(15h30 GMT) France v Spain (women)
(18h30 GMT) France v Spain (men)
tba / gr / gh