France did their best to stay with Spain in the first half of Sunday’s matchup in the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket, but France just couldn’t keep up as Spain throttled them in the second half on their way to a 96-69 blowout.
Can you blame France for being blown out? They were missing two of their best players; San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah.
Spurs draftee Nando De Colo did all he could with 10 points, four rebounds, two assists, and one steal in 27 minutes but Spain had five players finish in double figures as opposed to France’s three players.
Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain with 16 points, Dallas Mavericks’ Rudy Fernandez had 15 points, Los Angeles Lakers’ Pau Gasol had 11 points, and Felipe Reyes and Oklahoma City’s Serge Ibaka each had 10 points.
France’s Kevin Seraphin led the team with 18 points while Minnesota’s Ricky Rubio only played nine minutes in the blowout.
With the win, Spain locked up Group E of the second round of the 2011 FIBA Eurobasket. France was already the leader of group E at 4-0 coming into the game and they knew even if they lost they’d qualify for the next round.
Since France finishes as the two-seed in Group E, they’ll face the winner of the three-seed in Group F on Thursday.
This was a very smart move by France because not only did they save their best for Spain as they’re both predicted to face each other in the final round of the Eurobasket; but they were able to buy their best player (Parker) four days of rest so he’ll be fresh for the third round.