France, Italy, & Canada all fall over weekend in exhibition play

As the 2013 FIBA Americas and Eurobasket championships are just days away from kicking off, a couple of San Antonio Spurs players continued to prepare for the FIBA games with more exhibition matches as Spurs players from France, Italy, and Canada all ended up on the losing end this past weekend.

The action began Friday in Madrid where France was set to take on Spain without the services of Spurs guard Tony Parker, who had sustained a minor injury on Thursday in France's practice and would sit out the match for precautionary reasons. Les Bleus did what they could to stay competitive Friday but in the end Spain came out of the match as the victor with an 85-76 win led by Rudy Fernandez (13 points), Memphis forward Marc Gasol (12 points), and Minnesota guard Ricky Rubio (8 points, 8 assists).

Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum scored 17 points to lead Les Bleus while Spurs guard Nando De Colo added 13 points, 2 rebounds, and 2 assists on 3-of-5 shooting off the bench for the French. Spurs forward Boris Diaw scored 4 points, grabbed 6 rebounds, and assisted 2 times but couldn't find a rhythm shooting as he went 1-of-7 from the field.

Following France's game, Spurs guard Cory Joseph and Canada continued playing in the 2013 Tuto Marchand Cup in San Juan, Puerto Rico where Canada fell to Argentina 83-74. New Indiana Pacers forward Luis Scola led the Argentineans with 25 points and 9 rebounds. Joseph had his best scoring output with the Canadians as he finished with 10 points, 3 assists, and 2 steals while shooting 3-of-7 from the field in his 25:06 minutes of play.

On Saturday in Koper, Slovenia, Spurs guard Marco Belinelli and the Italian National team continued their preparation for Eurobasket with a 92-84 loss to Slovenia. In 34:17 minutes, Belinelli finished with 18 points on 6-of-11 shooting from the field while also grabbing 3 rebounds, gathering 3 assists, and stealing the ball 1 time.

Later on Saturday, Canada suffered another loss in the Tuto Marchand Cup as the Dominican Republic defeated the Canadians 74-68. Joseph however, did not participate in the match.

On Monday, France will play another exhibition match against powerhouse Spain. This time however, Parker says he may be ready to play.

The Tuto Marchand Cup will come to an end on Monday as Joseph and Canada will face Brazil.

For Belinelli and Italy, the Italians will face Lithuania on Tuesday in Athens, Greece as they continue preparing for Eurobasket.

Paul Garcia

About Paul Garcia

Paul is a San Antonio Spurs credentialed media member for Project Spurs. He covered the 2013 NBA All-Star Game in Houston, TX, and the 2013 and 2014 NBA Finals. Paul has been featured on WOAI, Fox 29, and numerous nationwide radio shows.

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