TONY Parker knows the first game of any tournament is the toughest to win — enough reason for him and France not to be complacent against the Philippines on Tuesday at the start of the 2016 Fiba Olympic Qualifying Tournament.
The France and San Antonio Spurs star guard on Tuesday underscored the importance of getting an impressive win over Gilas on Tuesday night which, he hopes, would set the tone for Les Bleus campaign in the six-team qualifier than stakes a lone berth to the Rio Olympic Games.
“Those games are always dangerous — the first game of the competition,” said Parker, who began the media availability session on Tuesday by taking off the hood of his hoodie he wore from the team hotel.
”You just have to try to approach it the right way and be aggressive right away and try to control the tempo of the game,” Parker added.
Parker will be suiting up for the French national team one last time as the 34-year-old indicated he is set to retire from international competition. But the NBA star wants to crown his international career with another Olympic appearance, following France's stint in London in 2012.
The 6-foot-2 guard said France will have to match the home team's energy from the get-go.
“We respect everybody. It’s going to be a tough game. They will be playing at home and they are going to play with a lot of confidence. We have to match their energy,” Parker said.