Nicolas Batum, one of the leaders of the French national team, talked about the upcoming Basketball World Cup.
Here is what the forward of the Charlotte Hornets told FIBA:
On the battle for a medal: “Yes, the battle for the top three spots is going to be crazy. A lot of teams can be in the medal spots and it’s going to be intense, very hard for every team to be in those spots.
But every team, including ours, is going to fight for it, to play at its best level to try to come back home with a medal.”
On qualifying for the Olympics through the World Cup: “The first step is to qualify for the Olympics and after this, focusing on how far we can go into the competition. When we get there, game after game, we’ll have a better view of what’s possible.
We are ambitious, but it’s important to take it one step at a time. This is a very long and intense competition, many teams can reach the medal spots.”
On the importance of defence in the team’s success: “We have to get back to our main strength, one that we haven’t done well in the last two competitions, which is our defense. It was our biggest strength in our best years.
And when we won medals and a title, it was mainly because of our solid defense. Coach (Vincent) Collet speaks a lot about this, and he is right.”