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FIBA OQT: It’s France vs Canada for Rio Berth

09:31 AM July 10, 2016
Philippines vs France. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

Philippines vs France. Photo by Tristan Tamayo/INQUIRER.net

France’s Les Bleus, narrowly missing an Olympic berth in their regional qualifying tourney, get one last crack at the Rio Games versus Team Canada at the close of the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament at the MOA Arena Sunday night.

With another solid showing, the Frenchmen rolled past Turkey’s Dev Adam, 75-63, in the semis Saturday night and into the one-game finale of the compact six-day Manila OQT.

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The French wiped out an early 10-point deficit, took command in the second period and roared all the way to the gold-medal game versus the Canadians who were 78-72 victors versus New Zealand’s Tall Blacks in the other semis game.

France and Canada face off for the crown and a ticket to the Rio Games at 9 p.m. Sunday.

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Nando De Colo scored 10 of his 12 points in the first half while second-string guard Thomas Heurtel delivered 12 of his 17 in the second half, leading the Frenchmen to
another win over old EuroBasket rival Turkey.

Before the game, France enjoyed a 13-3 lead over Turkey in their head-on FIBA competition matchups.

France coach Vincent Collet played eight other players with major minutes, and each one had essential help as Les Bleus kept their unbeaten run from their group play matches versus Gilas Pilipinas and New Zealand.

Charlotte Hornets forward Nicolas Batum finally saw action in the tourney and chipped in three points, two assists and two steals in 21:29 minutes of action.

As in their previous game, the Frenchmen played steadily throughout, leading by 18 points before wrapping up the game.

The towering duo of Omer Asik and Semih Erden got the Turks to a 13-3 start but the French were quick to adjust and in no time were into the game at 16-13.

De Colo rifled in 2-of-3 three-pointers and 2-of-2 charities to fuel their first-quarter chase.

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Heurtel, Mickael Gelabale, Kim Tillie, Florent Pietrus, Antoine Diot and Adrien Moerman all struck instantly off the bench as Les Bleus seized control in the second quarter and sat on a 37-30 cushion at the turn.

The French second troop outscored their Turk counterparts, 19-4, in the first half. Another key stats in the first two quarters was France’s 4-of-13 triples against Turkey’s 0-of-8.

Batum started for the French team and got on board on 3-on-3 charities in the opening quarter.

The scores:
France 75 – Heurtel 17, De Colo 13, Lauvergne 11, Diot 10, Gelabale 5, Diaw 4, Pietrus 4, Tillie 4, Batum 3, Parker 2, Moerman 2, Kahudi 0.
Turkey 63 – Asik 19, Muhammed 11, Erden 11, Osman 7, Batuk 5, Arslan 4, Korkmaz 3, Mahmutoglu 2, Guler 1, Sipahi 0, Geyik 0.
Quarterscores: 18-16, 37-30, 53-43, 75-63

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