GB v France
EuroBasket 2022 Qualifier
Friday 27th November, 17:00 (GMT) tip
Palais des sports de Pau, France
Nine months after our historic win over Germany in Newcastle, GB Men return to action tomorrow evening as we face France in the first of the weekend’s EuroBasket 2022 qualifying double-header.
The opposition: FRANCE
Currently ranked sixth in the world, France are considered favourites to win the group. Despite this, their qualifying campaign began with a defeat to Germany back in February, 83-69. They picked up a big win in game two, defeating Montenegro 85-66, ending the window 1/1. Three of the French squad were part of last year’s world cup bronze medal-winning campaign – Andrew Albicy, Mathias Lessort & Amath M’Baye.
GB have been boosted by the news that Axel Toupane has the left the French roster earlier this week. The 28-year-old, who was part of France’s world cup squad last year, travelled to the US to participate in a training camp with Golden State Warriors. France will also be without several of their NBA stars including Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier, Frank Ntilikina, Vincent Poirier and Rudy Gobert.
Head Coach Marc Steutel this afternoon confirmed his final 12 for tomorrow night’s game:
Dan Clark, Ashley Hamilton, Myles Hesson, Dwayne Lautier-Ogunleye, Ben Mockford, Luke Nelson, Teddy Okareafor, Gabe Olaseni, Rex Pflueger, Traik Phillip, Conner Washington, Akwasi Yeboah.
Speaking after the team’s practice this afternoon, Steutel was aware of the challenge the team faces but believes his side and ready and prepared:
“We’re excited and the guys are ready to play. We’ve been going against each other for a few days now and it’s at the point where we’re ready for a game. I feel like we’ve made the most of the situation. It has been challenging with the parameters which have been set but the guys are ready to play. We’re prepared, we have a specific kind of game plan, and now we’ve just got to go and implement it against the sixth best team in the world.
“There’s a reason France are a basketball powerhouse. Whether it’s the team that finished third in the world cup or the team that’s won EuroBasket previously, they have a lot of depth. They’ve got guys in who haven’t been in previously but still play in the ACB for example. They’re talented, they’re well coached – the coach has been around for a long time – so, whether or not there’s any NBA guys, we’re still going against a strong French team in France.”
“We’ve done our scouting. The guys have been fed information throughout the week, so they know what to expect. Some of our guys play in France, they’ve played against these guys before, so we know we’re up against it. We know we’re in for a battle. We’re aware of the group we’re in, we were aware of that when the draw happened, but we want to qualify for EuroBasket. It’s a challenge – a significant challenge – but I think that’s part of the GB mentality. We go in with an underdog approach and we have to try and earn it.”
How to watch
Tomorrow’s game is available to watch free in the UK via FIBA’s YouTube channel here: