Greece thought they had wrapped up San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and a win that would propel them into the Eurobasket semifinals.
Apparently they thought wrong.
While Greece’s defenders hounded Parker through one of his worst Eurobasket showings, he broke loose of Greece’s grasp midway through the fourth quarter when it mattered most.
Parker lead France on a 16-5 run with four minutes remaining in the game to finally push ahead for the eventual win.
Parker ended the game with 18 points, five rebounds and three assists.
While Parker was key in the win, he got some help along the way, notably from San Antonio Spurs’ 2009 draft pick Nando De Colo.
De Colo erupted again following his 21 point effort against Lithuania with 16 points today. He also contributed to France’s dominance from outside by making two of three three-pointers.
“We are very happy to win this game because we have guaranteed a place in the Pre-Olympic tournament. This was our first goal,” France coach Vincent Collet told FIBAEurope.com. “Very often in our past games against Greece, we had close games but they would beat us in the end. Today it was our turn. We fought for 40 minutes, we struggled to come back but we managed to do it. We were very courageous and mentally very strong. Congratulations to my players.”
With the win over Greece, Parker and France are headed to the Eurobasket semifinals where they’ll play a Russian team tomorrow night featuring Andrei Kirilenko and Timofey Mosgov.
Russia is unbeaten at Eurobasket. France’s only loss came at the hands of Spain, but Parker, Joakim Noah and Miickael Pietrus did not play.