FRANCE came over here to accomplish a mission and not to please somebody else.
Although the respect was there, the soft-spoken coach of Les Bleus has issued an apology in advance that President Duterte would probably be left disappointed when he cheers for Gilas Pilipinas against France in the Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
Vincent Collet flashed a wide smile when told the country’s newly-elected leader would personally be watching the 9 p.m. game at the VIP section of the 23,000-seater playing venue, and that he wants nothing but a victory for the most beloved team in this side of the world.
Collet hinted the Chief Executive might be in for a disappointing night.
“I’m not sure … sorry. But that’s not possible, perhaps,” he said during a media conference on Monday afternoon at the Sofitel hotel.
Led by San Antonio teammates Tony Parker Boris Diaw, Team France arrived in the country early Thursday morning, just a few hours before Duterte took his oath as the country’s 16th president.
“He’s the new President … Duter…te,” said the 53-year-old Collet as he struggled to pronounce the name of the country’s new leader correctly.
During the tune-up match between Gilas Pilipinas and Turkey last Friday, special assistant to the president Bong Go said President Duterte will be watching the national team’s opening game in the July 5-10 qualifier against the world No. 5 ranked French team.