After suffering a surprising loss Wednesday in the opening game of the 2013 Eurobasket against Germany, the French National team returned to form on Thursday as they defeated Great Britain by a whopping 23-points.
Meanwhile, Italy moved to 2-0 at the Eurobasket with a 15-point win and Canada continued its dominance in the FIBA Americas championship with a 22-point win over Mexico to begin Phase 2.
In France's 88-65 win over Great Britain, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker scored 16 points on 8-of-10 shooting while adding 5 assists, 3 rebounds, and 2 steals in 24 minutes. His Spurs teammate Nando De Colo added 11 points on 4-of-9 shooting, along with 2 steals in 20 minutes for Les Bleus. In 21 minutes, Boris Diaw finished with 4 points and 3 assists. Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum was France's leading scorer with 17 points.
The video below provides footage of some of France's highlights on their way to the win over Great Britain.
The Italian National team moved to 2-0 with a 90-75 victory over Turkey. In his 25 minutes, Spurs guard Marco Belinelli finished with 21 points on 5-of-11 shooting. Belinelli also added 2 assists and 2 rebounds in Italy's win. Check out one of Belinelli's two assists which was labeled 'the assist of the game.'
Below are the highlights of Italy's win Thursday over Turkey.
After finishing as one of the top teams in Phase 1, Canada continued its winning ways with an 89-67 win over Mexico. Spurs guard Cory Joseph continued to show his increased improvement by providing Canada with 17 points, 8 rebounds, 6 assists, 1 steal, and 4 turnovers. Joseph also connected on 3-of-5 three pointers in the match.
With the win, France moves to second place in Group A's standings, and Italy is tied for first with Greece and Finland in Group D of the Eurobasket standings. Canada is now 4-1 at the FIBA Americas through five games.
On Friday, France will face Houston Rockets forward Omri Casspi and Israel in their third Eurobasket game. Italy will have Friday off before resuming Eurobasket play on Saturday against Finland. Joseph and Canada will resume Phase 2 Friday with a match against Venezuela.
France and Italy are playing in a much tougher tournament. Good numbers from our guys. Looking forward to seeing how Belinelli fits into our system. I have no doubt he'll be a solid contributor. Joseph has been competing against the likes of Jamaica and Mexico and coming up...Venezuela.... so I take his #'s or 'growth' with a grain of salt. More concerned when he's not putting up great numbers against that kind of competition. I know, I know...I'm just not convinced Joseph is the answer at backup point. Not convinced Mills or De Colo are either. I think all three of them are great 3rd pg's to have on your team, but not guys you want spelling Tony in the playoffs for 10-12 minutes. Miami showed just how solid a guy has to be in terms of protecting the rock against that kind of defense. Tony was doing OK until I think he just flat wore out. To borrow from Bill Parcells: I think the Spurs need a guy who can just 'drive the bus.' Doesn't have to be spectacular, just run the offense and protect the ball. I don't think that backup point is on the roster yet.
I don't know how FIBA works, but I really hope Canada faces France! It would be awesome to see how Joseph and Parker fare against each other!
@gymbear Do you think that Beli could help with ball handling duties when Parker is out where Nails didn't quite cut the mustard?
@spursfan80 as of right now that's not gonna happen, since France plays in an european tournament and joseph in the american tournament. But if Canada finishes the tournament as one of the best 4 teams, it's going to qualify for the FIBA world cup. If then France finishes as one of the best 6, it also qualifies for the world cup. Then it depends in which pot both teams land, but there is a chance that if they both qualify they could end up in the same group and play against each other, but that is a long road to walk, so all we can do is wait and see^^