On Sunday evening (88-76), Canal+ aired the responses of French players following their team’s loss in the European Championship final.
Rudy Gobert (the pivot of the French team, after the defeat in the Euro final against Spain): “Was it challenging to earn this silver medal? Yes… We had our sights set on the gold. So close to achieving it… It’s not easy… It is difficult to look the other way. They got out to a strong start, making things challenging for us, and the entire game we were playing from behind in the score. Players like Juancho Hernangomez came off the bench to make a significant contribution. Even though we had some strong passages, it was not enough. (…) For my part, I need to improve so that I can motivate my squad to perform even better than they did tonight…»
Gershon Yabusele (strong winger of the France team): “It stings… We went there in search of gold. The Spaniards have triumphed, and we will now return home… It will help us become better people. (…) We can always go back and look at the matches, talk about our faults, and so on… Despite this, we were still in the running for the win. Even though we got off to a poor start, we were still able to salvage the game. They triumphed, and as a result… (…) Beautiful medal? When we look back on it, we will view it in the way. But in that regard, we have just failed… As competitors, our goal at the event was to take home the gold and come out on top. Therefore, we are unable to experience joy at this time. In retrospect, we shall be able to see.
I await revenge.
Terry Tarpey (French national team winger): “Is Spain more powerful? I’m not going to say that (smiles). However, tonight was not one of our better performances. He was lacking in some minor things, Spain put in complicated shots, and more vigor and they stayed in their systems throughout the match. It was challenging for us… Their defense: the most important factor in La Roja’s success? Yes, but in addition, there was the assault, a little bit of everything. It was essential to maintain control of the offensive rebounds, although I’m not sure how many they managed to get (11, compared to only 5 for France, editor’s note). They had a greater number of shots than we had… When you look at the numbers like that, it’s not easy to come out on top. Nice medal? Yes… We were not participating in the game for second place in the finals. After a few more years, when it comes time for me to retire, I could admit to myself that the agency isn’t all that horrible. It is something that will serve as a driving force for me. I’d like to carry on with this. We will still interact with Spain, and we will continue to compete against them… I am holding out for retribution. (throughout Canal+)