It was a nail biter in Tokyo as Team France took on Luka Doncic and Slovenia in the semifinals of the men’s basketball tournament at the Tokyo Olympics.
But a clutch block by Nic Batum sealed a one-point win as France withstood a triple-double from Doncic to punch their ticket to the gold medal match and guarantee themselves a spot on the podium, giving Jazz center Rudy Gobert his first Olympic hardware.
— Equipes de France de Basket (@FRABasketball) August 5, 2021
The two Euro powerhouses played neck-and-neck during the first half with France going into the half down a bucket, 44-42. Doncic had 12 points and eight assists at the break, but would only score four points in the final 20 minutes.
Gobert was his usual defensive presence in his 30 minutes of play Thursday, racking up four blocks and 16 rebounds for Team France in addition to nine points and three assists, one on a kick-out three-pointer to Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot in the final minutes of the game that would put France up for good over the Cinderella story Slovenian national team.
Team France faces no easy task in their upcoming matchup against star-studded Team USA on Friday night as they take on Kevin Durant and company, though France did get the best of the Americans in the preliminary round, 83-76.
France is guaranteed its third ever medal in the event, taking silver in both the 1948 and 2000 Olympic games.
A preliminary round rematch for the #Tokyo2020 Olympic gold medal!
— USA Basketball (@usabasketball) August 5, 2021