France 67 Italy 69

14.09.2003

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Giacomo Galanda had 15 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists for Italy
Italy finished the tournament with a victory over France to win the bronze medal in Eurobasket2003 and more importantly secure a spot i next year's Olympic Games in Athens. The Italian players celebrated like they had won the entire tournament after the game and for them the third place finish has to be considered a huge success.

Italy put a fitting end to their cinderella story in this year's European Championships with a win over France in the third place game. Italy has upset Germany, Greece and France in this tournament. After losing two of their three games in the prelimary round, Italy grew as the tournament progressed. They lost by 33 points, 52-85, to France in their Group A game in Luleå on the 6th of september, but on this night they proved to be stronger than the French team.

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Tony Parker blocking a shot of Matteo Soragna
France opened the game well and led 12-5 in the middle of the first quarter. After that Italy went on a 19-1 run to end the quarter, and the run stretched to 23-1 in the second before Boris Diaw hit 2 free throws for France. Giacomo Galanda had 7 points in the run. Italy led with a score of 39 to 27 at halftime. France had a horrible shooting first half. They shot 25 % from the floor and went 0-11 on 3-pointers in the first half.

In the second half France mounted a comeback and trailed by only 6, 53-47, after three quarters of play. After scoring only 6 points at the half French star Tony Parker had 8 in the third quarter. In the fourth France got closer and closer and eventually tied the game at 62 a piece on two Diaw freethrows. After that the teams changed the leads a couple of times. Gianluca Basile hit 1 of 2 free throws to give Italy a 66-64 lead with 53 seconds left. Moustapha Sonko missed a 3-pointer and Boris Diaw missed the tip in on the offensive rebound.

The rest of the scoring in the game came from the foul line as well. After going 1-2 fromthe line Tony Parker got a last chance after Italy turned the ball over to France with 9.9 seconds left and the score 69-67 in favour of Italy. Parker missed a layup as the clock ran out, destroying France’s hopes for a trip to the Olympics next year.

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The Italian team celebrating
Center Denis Marconato played one of his best games ever in the national team jersey and was voted player of the game. Marconato had 16 points and 10 rebounds in the game. Giacomo Galanda had a terrific game too as he scored 15 points, grabbed 7 rebounds and handed out 5 assists. Italy's leading scorer Massimo Bulleri missed the first half of the game and went scoreless in the second half.

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker was the only one in double figures for France with 24 points on 10-22 shooting, but he was only 1-7 from 3-point land. Laurent Foirest shot 1-8 from three and France finihsed 3 of 24 (12%) for the game from beyond the arc. France had only 2 assists as a team in the game. 


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