France Set For Slovenia Test

05 September 2007
By Cindy Garcia-Bennett

France and Slovenia have already assured themselves a place in the qualifying round having won their two opening games but they will battle for top spot in Group D when they meet tonight.

Ales Pipan's men come into the tie in confident mood after triumphs against Italy and Poland.

Jaka Lakovic (Slovenia)
Lakovic faces a big
challenge against Parker
However, they will face their biggest test yet when they take on Tony Parker & Co.

Key Match-up: Parker versus Jaka Lakovic. Parker is the focal point of the French offense so any team that takes on Les Bleus must try to limit the damage caused by the NBA superstar. Lakovic has already shown that he is the man for the big occasions by hitting a buzzer-beating three-pointer to defeat Italy in the opening game but containing Parker will be his biggest challenge for him this summer.

Key stats: Parker has the green light to put up three-pointers but Slovenia should not make the mistake of leaving either Boris Diaw or Tariq Kirksay open because they have proved they can also hit from long-range. The battle of the boards will be really intense with both sides having out-rebounded their opponents in past games. The reasons these two teams have been successful so far is down to the fact that they have rebounded the ball so well.

X-Factor: Over-reliance in Parker is the main concern for France coach Claude Bergaud who hopes his team can have a balanced scoring and a better sharing of the ball.

Speaking out: "Slovenia are a team that if they have an inspiring day they can do a lot of damage with their long-range shooting." - Parker.
”We will try to play a very good game, we can improve our game a lot. France have great players like Tony Parker and Boris Diaw. With Tony, we can risk a little bit to try to limit him but he was so hot this year it will be a big challenge for us." - Erazem Lorbek.


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