Quel dommage! Eurobasket 2011 runners-up France are finding the road to London bumpy indeed recently. Already losing Joakim Noah throughout the 2012 Olympic Games due to injury, Les Bleus must temporarily sit Boris Diaw and Nando de Colo due to NBA-related insurance issues. And now Mickael Gelabale faces penalties from FIBA, including possible suspension for part of the ‘Games.

With France chipping away at a seven-point third-quarter Spain advantage in yesterday’s “friendly,” Les Bleus forced a turnover out of Rudy Fernandez which led to a breakaway layup for two. Gelabale, meanwhile, was confronted by Fernandez with the expected results. Gelebale was ejected from the game, necessitating a report to FIBA by the official – a report which could in turn become suspension for one Olympic match or more.

To his credit, Gelabale turned in a vicious rejection of Pau Gasol for France near the end of the first half…

Team Spain ultimately won the game, 75-70, with Gasol and Serge Ibaka combining for 39 points and 20 rebounds.


In its first three games of Olympic play, France takes on Team USA, Argentina and Lithuania – for which they’ll need every body they can get. Surely many Bleus backers are keeping fingers crossed for the kindness of FIBA officials…

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