Netherlands endured a baptism of fire on their arrival in the top flight after a classy looking France team picked them apart to inflict a 66-54 defeat on the Division A debutantes.
The final score perhaps flattered the Netherlands a little as France eased off in the closing minutes and the twenty point margin with just over two minutes remaining was perhaps a better indication of French dominance.
The game was a steep learning curve for Netherlands as they began their Division A adventure and Coach Alibegovic can at least take heart from the lessons learned by his players and the fact they never gave up on a lost cause until the buzzer had sounded.
While Netherlands competed well during the opening exchanges and for most of the first half, they found themselves trailing 38-28 early in third quarter after a three-pointer by Nicolas Lang. Then, when France began to step up defensively the Dutch couldn't cope and lost both rhythm and at times their composure.
It was a strong team performance by the French with Lens Aboudou, Andrew Albicy and Alexis Tanghe all reaching double-figures.
Shooting guard Jessey Voorn finished on 17 points for Netherlands while Mohammed Kherazzi just missed out on a noteworthy double-double with 11 points and 9 rebounds.