Shenzhen Government Online
Group G: France, Germany battle for supremacy
From: FIBA
Updated: 2019-08-30 16:08

FRANCE and Germany arrived in Shenzhen poised to capture supremacy in Group G, while Dominican Republic and Jordan hope they can surprise their way into a trip to the Second Round in Nanjing.

France, who finished third at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014, and Germany, who return to the world stage after missing the last tournament, both have the talent to challenge for the trophy — or at least a spot in the Knockout Phase. The Dominicans, for their part, have a myriad of players who can score but lack a true superstar, while Jordan will rely heavily on guard Dar Tucker to carry them to an upset.

Team to beat: France

France are the frontrunners with a trio of leaders back from the team that took third five years ago in Spain: Nicolas Batum, Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert. Head coach Vincent Collet had an embarrassment of riches to choose from in putting together his 12-man roster.

Nando De Colo remains one of the top guards in Europe and won a major club title this season as did newcomer Amath M’Baye. There are also the likes of Frank Ntilikina and Mathias Lessort who will be looking to make a name for themselves with Les Bleus. All told, Collet has a great roster mix of veteran leadership and young energy to team with hungry motivation.

Key matchup:

France vs. Germany

Action in Shenzhen tips off with Dominican Republic vs. Jordan in a game to likely decide who has the best chance to maybe slip into the next round. But the Sept. 1 nightcap sees the two European powerhouses France and Germany face off in what is expected to be the battle for first place. France have extra motivation after Germany ousted them in the Round of 16 at FIBA EuroBasket 2017. With the results carrying over to the Second Round and two of Australia, Canada, Lithuania and Senegal awaiting in the crossover, a victory in this game is almost a must.

Star: Rudy Gobert

Gobert did not play at FIBA EuroBasket 2017 and his absence factored into France seeing their stretch of consecutive continental podium finishes snapped after second in 2011, the trophy in 2013 and third in 2015. The 25-year-old big man also showed his star potential already in France’s run to third place at FIBA Basketball World Cup 2014 and he played at the Men’s Olympic Tournament 2016 in Rio de Janeiro. Gobert has become one of the most intimidating defenders in the world as he captured his second straight NBA Defensive Player of the Year award this past season with the Utah Jazz. Gobert will be the rock of France’s defense in China.