By: Leobert Julian A. de la Peña
The 13-year dominance of the Americans in the FIBA World Cup has finally come to an end.
France put on a masterful show of team basketball with insane chemistry as they pulled off a stunning upset against the defending champion USA team, 89-79, in their quarterfinals showdown.
The veteran French team showed the young and inexperienced Americans that teamwork beats talent, as they played near-perfect team basketball, dishing out pretty assists to the corners and executing pick-and-rolls perfectly.
Rudy Gobert asserted his dominance early on as he gave the Americans a difficult time in the paint, bullying the thin and smaller USA front-line.
It was a slugfest early on as both teams traded baskets, the game was back and forth until Evan Fournier made clutch heaves giving the French national team a bit of momentum heading into the second half leading 45-39.
In the third canto, Donovan Mitchell of team USA started heating up as he fired from all over the court, erasing their deficit and eventually taking the lead, 63-66.
France outplayed the USA squad in the final quarter, as they executed their plays brilliantly, became patient on the defensive end, and showed more poise overall.
USA on the other hand, seemed to rattle, turning the ball over numerous times and resorted to playing hero-ball in the final 3 minutes of the match with no ball movement and picks.
With the win, France will play Argentina in the semifinals.