Paris 2024 Olympic Games: the 3×3 basketball Blues eliminated in the TQO semi-final by Lithuania, qualifying becomes complicated

Paris 2024 Olympic Games: the 3×3 basketball Blues eliminated in the TQO semi-final by Lithuania, qualifying becomes complicated

The step was too high for the Blues. Opposed to a benchmark in the discipline, the French men’s 3×3 basketball team fell to Lithuania (15-21) this Sunday in the semi-final of the Olympic qualifying tournament organized in Japan, in Utsunomiya.

Only the winner of this TQO will validate their ticket for the Paris 2024 Games, which will force the Tricolores to participate in the tournament in Debrecen (Hungary). Scheduled for May 16 to 19, it will constitute the last French chance to participate in the Olympics.

Sixth in the world rankings, the Blues had experienced some difficulties in their first two matches the day before, losing (17-21) against Mongolia before overthrowing the host country, Japan (21-10). But this Sunday, the team made up of Alex Vialaret, Hugo Suhard, Jules Rambaut and Lahaou Konaté came up against something stronger. Number one seed in the tournament and third nation in the world, Lithuania put up a real physical fight against the French.

The Blues didn’t give up

Combative, they came up against a team that was solid defensively and hard to move. Karim Souchu’s men had to wait until the second minute to score their first basket, by Jules Rambaut (1-1). Beaten in the duels, the French quickly found themselves trailing by three points (4th, 1-4) before being put back on track by the first two-point basket of the game, scored by Hugo Suhard (4th, 5- 6).

Constantly behind in the score, the French trio did not give up, picking up again through their captain Alex Vialaret (10-10, 6th). The end of the match then became totally crazy, the two teams going blow for blow, like Suhard’s basket allowing the Blues to lead for the first time in the match (7th, 11-10), quickly erased by a Lithuanian colon.

Struggling in defensive transitions and less effective than their opponents at long range, Karim Souchu’s men ended up breaking down at the end of the match controlled by the reigning European vice-champions. We will have to raise our heads before the last chance tournament, which starts in less than two weeks in Hungary. The French women’s team is already qualified.

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