France struggled at the beginning but managed to comfortably secure their second victory in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023 by defeating Iran with a score of 82-55.
This triumph stood out as a rare positive highlight for France, who had a disappointing overall performance in Jakarta. They failed to advance to the main phase after the preliminary round, marking the first instance of such an outcome in the FIBA World Cup since 1986.
The French team faced another sluggish start, allowing Iran’s Team Melli to take advantage. Iran held a lead of 12-9 after the first quarter and narrowed the gap to single digits at halftime, with a score of 35-27.
However, Les Bleus came to life during the third quarter. They began the second half with a 7-0 scoring streak, establishing a 15-point lead that they maintained until the end of the match.
Although Rudy Gobert hadn’t been performing at his peak during the tournament in Jakarta, he exhibited a performance more reminiscent of his usual self. He achieved almost a double-double and made 4 out of 6 field goal attempts.
Gobert also added to his World Cup career total of blocked shots, reaching 30 blocks overall and securing the fourth position in this category, just behind Yao Ming and the Gasol brothers.
France’s reserves played a pivotal role in this game, outscoring Iran’s second-string players by 40-36. What was even more significant, though, was the urgency and determination exhibited by Coach Vincent Collet’s backup players.
Elie Okobo, Sylvain Francisco, Yakuba Ouattara, and Mosutapha Fall all had standout moments during the match. This quartet of players alone managed an impressive 73.7 percent shooting rate, making 14 out of 19 attempts from the field.
Watch the game highlights between France and Iran in the First Round of the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023: