The stake of this France-Russia is clear: the nation which will win will be qualified for the quarter-finals, the other will have to go through the eighth. In an 11-day competition with 6 games to go to the end, avoiding an extra date is anything but negligible. And, although impressive for their debut at the Women’s Basketball Euro, with cards against Croatia (105-63) and the Czech Republic (71-51), the Blue could find themselves in a bad position in case of defeat. , this Sunday (8:45 p.m.) in Strasbourg.
Finalists of the last four European Championships, the proteges of Valérie Garnier can not however afford to fear Russia, who experienced much more difficulties to win against the Czech Republic (73-69) and Croatia (73-62 ). Russia has mostly disappeared from the radar since its European title in 2011. This does not prevent the coach from being wary of a sector in particular. “The biggest goal is to win the rebound battle,” explains Garnier. It’s a team with 18 offensive rebounds on average over two games, that’s huge. It is an identified danger. “
This Sunday evening will therefore be a test to judge the ambitions of the players led by captain Endy Miyem, who aim for the title and fully assume it. So far, everything is going well since the Blue remain on six victories in a row since the start of their preparation. But, to increase their chances of reaching the final, on Sunday June 27 in Valencia (Spain), it will be necessary to preserve the bodies and nourish the spirits of confidence.
Two days of rest or “a succession of two games”
The idea is to continue the epic with a whole group, hence the importance of saving playing time in a Strasbourg Rhénus transformed into a sauna with current temperatures. “The heat is there, even for the Russians, relativizes Valérie Garnier. In case of defeat, that would make us start again on a succession of two games. It would be better to be at rest, so the stake is victory against Russia. “And to offer two full days of break before attacking the final phase.