Kevin Seraphin Makes Fr. Team


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FRA - Collet swings the axe

ALMERIA (EuroBasket 2011) - Competition for places in the France team has been fierce this summer.

Veteran big man Ali Traore can attest to that after being told by coach Vincent Collet that he hasn't made the team for the EuroBasket.

Following France's heavy friendly defeat to Spain on Tuesday night in Almeria, the French Basketball Federation announced that Traore and promising shooting guard Abdoulaye M' Baye would not be in Lithuania.

While M' Baye's exclusion comes as no surprise, the departure of Traore is not what anyone had expected - including Collet.

Traore had been an integral part of the French team last year in Turkey when France played at the FIBA World Championship.

"Ali showed better things in 2010, and although initially he was to be in the final 12, the revelation to his position has been (Washington Wizards power forward) Kevin Seraphinso I decided to gradually change the team we had planned," Collet said.

"We had no idea that Kevin could be at this level and even if the decision is cruel to Ali, the interest of the France team must come first."

France, meanwhile, will have to dismiss the setback in Spain as just a bad night at the office.

Spain took control with a 19-4 run in the first half.

"In the first half, we clearly weren't ready to play," Seraphin said.

"When we woke up in the second half, the Spaniards were already 20 points ahead and it really was not easy to catch-up.

"In games like this, you must be ready to go to war, not present gifts because there is no mercy to be had...

"We must learn from this defeat."

France struggled to contain the one-two punch of the Gasol brothers.

Both Pau Gasol and Marc Gasol started for Spain with Jose Manuel Calderon, Juan Carlos Navarro and Rudy Fernandez.

The Gasols combined for 26 points.

Nevertheless, Collet was able to learn something about his own team.

"As the Spaniards played with two very large players in the paint, I tried to line up a big enough frontline by having Ronny Turiaf and Joakim Noah in the paint (at the same time) and Boris Diaw by shifting him to position three (small forward).

"It was not a bad thing.

"I think we did some interesting things at that time."

France EuroBasket squad: Andrew Albicy, Nicolas Batum, Nando De Colo, Antoine Diot, Mickael Gelabale, Charles Kahudi, Joakim Noah, Tony Parker, Florent Pietrus, Kevin Seraphin and Ronny Turiaf.


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