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AFP
September 12, 2019

France eliminate USA from Basketball World Cup in major upset

Sports

AFP
September 12, 2019

DONGGUAN, China: France blew the Basketball World Cup wide open Wednesday by handing the United States their first loss in the competition in 13 years in their quarter-final clash, powered by a double-double from big man Rudy Gobert of the Utah Jazz.

The historic 89-79 win for France eliminates the Americans early from the competition in China, dashing their hopes of a third straight title. The prospect of an American exit had looked increasingly possible after the USA sent a squad of second-tier stars and the loss is likely to prompt soul-searching in USA basketball.

Gobert, the two-time NBA Defensive Player of the Year, had three blocks, including a key rejection down the stretch to help France seal the victory in the southern Chinese city of Dongguan.

The 7ft, 1in centre called the win “unbelievable”. “I’ve been dreaming about this for a while. I was thinking we might never get the opportunity (to beat the USA) again and I told that to the guys,” Gobert said.

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