The two favorites of Group H met in the first game of the group stage to start their respective World Cup campaigns. Both teams are stacked with NBA and top level international talent so it was set out to be a battle. For France this World Cup is super important coming off a silver medal at the 2022 Eurobasket, and with the Olympics coming next summer at home in Paris. For Canada, potentially winning a medal and qualifying directly for the Olympics, will be the main goal in the tournament.
France got the better start and jumped out to an early 21-14 lead in the 2nd quarter, which turned out to be their biggest in the game. Paced by Evan Fournier, who had a really good 1st half. Canada re-grouped in the 2nd quarter by scoring 29 points and taking a 43-40 half-time lead.
Canada then proceeded to blow the game wide open with a strong 25-8 3rd quarter, that saw their lead rise up to 20 points (68-48). The 4th quarter would see more of the same as Canada cruised (27-17) to an easy 95-65 win with their biggest lead reaching up to 34 points. It was a complete domination by Canada in the 2nd half and France didn't have anything left to put up a fight and make it a close contest.
Canada easily handled Lebanon with a big win,128-73, while setting the all-time World Cup record with 44 Assists. Their final group match-up was against a tough Latvia squad where a strong 2nd half push (58-33) saw then sweep their group with a 101-75 win. In the 2nd group stage Canada will face off against 3-0 Spain and 2-1 Brazil, looking to book their place in the quarterfinals.
France´s woes continued against Latvia, narrowly losing 88-86 and surprisingly dropping out in the group phase. They switched up the line-up a bit by giving more minutes to Sylvain Franciso and Terry Tarpey but again fell victim to 20 own turnovers and handing Latvia 11 shots more from the field, a similar story as in the Canada game. France then beat Lebanon in their final group game (85-79) and will not play in the classification round for the places 17-32 against the Ivory Coast and Iran.