Portugal lost to France in Dijon by (56-94) on Thursday in the third match of the 2023 Basketball World Cup qualifiers and saw qualification for the final phase become more difficult .
National coach Mário Gomes was replaced by Nuno Manarte in charge of the national team, as he tested positive for Covid-19, as well as athlete Rafael Lisboa and did not travel to France. The French team came with a different team from the one that is Olympic vice-champion.
Portugal entered the game in force and took an eight-point lead on the scoreboard (9-17). France, on the other hand, started slowly, tried to react at a disadvantage, but the Portuguese team ended the first quarter winning by two points, 15-17. The balance marked the second quarter, the home team took the lead, for the first time, at (24-23). Portugal managed to nullify the French advantage twice (31-31) and (33-33), but France came into the break to win by four points, 37-33.
The Gauls came from the break determined to speed up the game, they scored 27 points, while the Portuguese only scored 11 points and never recovered on the scoreboard, ending the third quarter with a difference of 20 points, 64-44. In the last quarter, Portugal still failed to counter the play of France, who scored 30 points in the last quarter and closed the game 94-56.
Diogo Brito was the top scorer on the Portuguese side (15 pts, 3 res, 4 ast) and on the French side it was Louis Labeyrie (15 pts, 5 res, 1 ast) who stood out.
Portugal follows with only defeats in qualification and occupies the 4th and last place, with three points. France remain top of Group E with six points. The two teams will meet next Sunday, in Matosinhos.