|Boris Dallo's athleticism was a factor for France as he played 35 minutes, scoring 5 pts and pulling down 8 rbs|
France did not impress on Thursday night but won 66-44 over hosts Estonia at the Sportland U20 European Championship by using their advantage in size and physicality to suffocate them on defence.
Les Bleus out-rebounded Estonia 54-28 and took control of the encounter when they moved Livio Jean-Charles to the small forward position from the '4' spot, closed down their paint and denied open looks from close range to their hosts.
The French first pulled away when they kept Estonia without a score durung a six-minute stretch in the second quarter, but had offensive woes of their own and only scored six points in that spurt, to go up by 13, 29-16.
A Martin Paasoja triple 1:47 before the half-time buzzer however sparked an 8-0 Estonia run that saw the hosts reducing the gap to just five points by the interval.
France did not improve their shooting percentages but made this a brief parenthesis by coming out from the locker rooms to dominate the boards and score crucial baskets from their six offensive rebounds in the third quarter.
They entered the final frame having restored their 13-point lead from earlier and kept the pace unchanged until Mouhammadou Jaiteh, with a lay-up, capped an 8-2 mini-run that gave the French an unassailable 56-38 lead with less than four minutes left on the clock.
Jean-Charles hit all seven of his shots from the floor and led France with an 18-point, 10-rebound double-double, Alexandre Chassang had 13 points and six boards and shooting guard Hugo Invernizzi chipped in with 11 points and nine rebounds.
Estonian center Rauno Nurger collected 13 points and Rait-Riivo Laane added 11 in losing efforts.