The Weekend: Australia wins Oceania championship, France defeats Georgia, Italy drops a couple

Over the weekend a few San Antonio Spurs players continued participating in FIBA international basketball play as the French and Italian National teams continued preparing for the upcoming 2013 Eurobasket tournament, while Patty Mills and Australia won the Oceania Championship to qualify for the 2014 World Championships in Spain next year.

The action started on Saturday as France, playing without Alexis Ajinca and Nicolas Batum, defeated Georgia 86-71 in a game where Spurs guard Tony Parker didn't have to provide a majority of the scoring. Boris Diaw scored 14 points for Les Bleus while also contributing with 3 rebounds, and 1 steal. Nando De Colo hit the double-scoring mark with 11 points, 4 rebounds, and 2 steals.

Parker was able to rest as he played just 17:19 minutes in the game where he only attempted 3 shots for 2 points. Viktor Sanikidze, whom the Spurs retain his NBA draft rights, scored 8 points on 3-of-8 shooting for Georgia and also added 4 rebounds, and 1 steal in his 29:21 minutes of play.

Marco Belinelli and Italy endured a long weekend with back-to-back losses beginning with a 76-57 loss to Belgium on Saturday. From the get-go, Belgium jumped on top of Italy and sustained their large lead throughout the game. Like many of his teammates, Belinelli could never find a shooting rhythm as he finished the game with just 5 points.

Sunday began early with an afternoon game in Australia where Mills led the Boomers to a 76-63 victory over the New Zealand Tall Blacks to win the 2013 Oceania Championship 2-0 and the win also qualified Australia for a higher seed in next years 2014 World Championships in Spain.

Mills was the leading scorer for Australia with 21 points on 7-of-12 shooting from the field (5-of-9 from three), he also tallied 3 assists, and stole the ball 5 times. Joe Ingles chipped in 12 points for the Boomers.

In the second game of the European Basketball Tour on Sunday, Belinelli and Italy suffered their second straight loss with a 78-74 defeat at the hands of Israel. Belinelli scored 8 points for Italy while new Houston Rockets forward Omri Casspi scored 17 points in the match for Israel.

Italy will complete a back-to-back-to-back sequence as the European Basketball tour comes to an end Monday with a match against Poland. France will continue exhibition play on Friday against power-house Spain.

For Mills, he and fellow Australian Aron Baynes have completed their FIBA summer play which means they'll have roughly 6-7 weeks to rest and recover before training camp with the Spurs begins.

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 NBA Finals.

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