France Lock Down Czechs Win

03 August 2009

by Paul Nilsen

French Coach Arnaud Guppillotte masterminded another blowout for his unbeaten team and admitted that his side feel fortunate to be in an easier looking group than some of their main rivals.

Speaking after a defensively dominated 55-31 win against Czech Republic, Guppillotte also feels that there is still room for improvement and he is looking forward to his team proving they can win a close game.

"There were definitely too many turnovers again and maybe this was because we kept too many players on the bench and tried a lot of different rotations, especially at point guard."

"Also for the first time it was clear that we came up against a big defensive style which meant a lot of pressure on our guards."

"Czech Republic did a good job pressuring the ball and getting their hands in the right places to deny us the ball."

"However we also played good defence which was very important also as this is also what we continue to build our team around."

"I think we are fortunate to be in the group we have because the other group looks more difficult."

14. Christelle Diallo (France)
hristelle Diallo once again gave her team a lift with 18 pts and 11 rbs in just over 24 minutes

"I am looking forward to seeing if my team can respond to the pressure of playing in a close game when the time arrives."

France rubber-stamped their superiority from the tip-off by scoring the first seven points of the game and never needing to look back or worry about their opponents. As shown in their previous three games, all blowouts, defensive pressure always reigns supreme when France are on court.

This was to be no different. The Czech guards really struggled with the quickness of their counterparts and soon had ten turnovers and found themselves double digits behind at 17-7 by the time the first period had ended.

The next ten minutes changed very little although Czech Republic id well to control the ball slightly better and this meant that France could not extend their lead by more than three points by the break at 29-16.

In the penultimate quarter, center Christelle Diallo began to dominate and by the end of the period led her team with 14 points, Czech Republic really struggling to match up with her height.

However France again did not look after the ball too well an while 44-27 ahead going into the fourth, Coach Guppillote had certainly taken note of the disappointing 18 turnovers.

Both teams really struggled in an untidy final period with the exception of Diallo who completed a stellar display by racking up a double-double 18 points and 11 rebounds to show she is one player ready for the challenge ahead.

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