Rudy Gobert: Italy in EuroBasket 2022 quarterfinals “no coincidence”
Rudy Gobert, a star player for the French basketball team, issued a warning on Monday that Italy, whom the French team will face in the quarterfinals of Eurobasket 2022 on Wednesday at 5:15 p.m., plays a “pretty unique basketball.” Gobert noted that Italy’s victory against Nikola Jokic’s Serbia is “no coincidence.”
“The result may come as a surprise to some, but Italy is a very excellent team that plays basketball in a very distinctive way. During a news conference held in the team hotel in Berlin, the pivot stated confidently that he “personally knew that they were capable of beating Serbia, despite for me they were the favorites for the Euros.”
The Italians, who haven’t finished higher than second at a major international competition since winning silver at the 2004 Olympics in Athens, delivered the opening thunderbolt of this Euro-2022 tournament by eliminating the Serbs, who were undefeated in the group round, the day before (94-86).
“It just goes to illustrate that anything can take place in basketball. “As we witnessed against Turkey (a team that forced the Blues into overtime in the round of 16; editor’s note:
“The Italians went into the contest to qualify for the next round by playing an excellent match. They did a great job defending, and their guys hit their shots when they needed to. There is no way that this is a coincidence.”
It is a bit surreal to be reuniting with the Azzurri at the same time as the closing ceremonies of the Tokyo Olympics. Especially considering the possibility that Luka Doncic and his Slovenia team may face the French Olympic vice-champions in the next round, as will also occur in Japan.
Since the winning quarter in Saitama, the band led by Evan Fournier even defeated Italy 100-68 in a preparation match in the middle of August in Montpellier. This came just four days after they achieved their first victory in overtime (78-77 ap) in Bologna. According to Gobert, this is a sign that they should not be too confident in their abilities.
“When you win three times in a year against the same squad. According to the three-time greatest defender in the NBA, the more you develop in your career, the more you can convince yourself, instinctively, that the upcoming contests are going to be the same. But unfortunately, we had to learn this the hard way when we faced Argentina in the World Cup (2019).
The French squad was dominant over the Argentinians in practice (77-58), but a month later they were eliminated in the semi-finals of the Modal-2019 competition.