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Group:  C | 17.09.2008, 19:00h
Group:  C | 17.09.2008, 19:00h
87-83
18 - 2225 - 1924 - 1820 - 24
18 - 2225 - 1924 - 1820 - 24
Venue: Le Mans (FRA) |
Spectators: 6000 |
Referees: Dubravko Muhvic (CRO), Jose Ramon Garcia Ortiz (ESP), Eric Bertrand (SUI)

GAME REPORT


France Move Closer To EuroBasket With Win

France narrowly fended off another fourth-quarter comeback by Ukraine and won 87-83 to clinch second place in EuroBasket 2009 qualifying Group B.

Tony Parker had 25 points to lead Les Bleus in scoring again, but he and his teammates had to survive a few nervous moments before winning for the third time in five games.

The French will now hope to be one the top three second-place teams from the four Division A groups, and to make sure of that they will want to upset undefeated group winners Turkey next week in France.

The French led Ukraine by eight points in the fourth quarter in Kiev in their first meeting, only for Valentyn Melynchuk's team to fight back and win.

This time in front of their own fans, France went on top at 76-62 with 7:28 remaining following a lay-up by William Gradit.

Before they knew it, Ukraine had closed the deficit to just one.

Sergiy Gladyr and Andriy Agafonov hit back-to-back three-pointers and Olexiy Onufriyev added a lay-up to close the gap to 76-70 with 5:58 remaining.

Following another Gladyr three-ball, Agafonov then on consecutive trips down the floor split two free throws to cut the French lead to 76-75.

Nando De Colo replied with a three-point play, but France's NBA center Ronny Turiaf fouled Agafonov while he was attempting a three-pointer and this time, he made all three shots from the charity stripe to again make it a one-point game.

After Turiaf scored on a tap-in, he fouled Onufriyev and the Ukrainian sank two at the line to reduce the arrears to one yet again at 81-80 with 2:49 to go.

Ukraine then had a chance to go in front following two missed free throws from Stephen Brun. But De Colo saved the day, stealing a pass from Oleksandr Kolchenko and scoring on a lay-up seconds later before Parker added a jump shot.

Rostyslav Kryvych buried a three-pointer with 22 seconds remaining and Ukraine immediately fouled Parker who made just one of two free throws for an 86-83 advantage.

Ukraine failed to box out Sacha Giffa on the missed free three attempt by Parker, though. He grabbed the rebound and drew a foul before making one of two at the line for the 87-83 final.

Agafonov finished with 22 points in defeat for Ukraine, who slumped to 1-4 with the defeat and will now try to avoid falling into the Relegation Round.

Turiaf had nine rebounds to go with his 11 points for France.

Ukraine shot themselves in the foot by making just 12 of 23 (52.1%) free throws and turning the ball over 20 times while the French had only six turnovers.

Top performers

Accumulated statistics

42.4%

28/66
FG
M/A

55.8%

29/52

48.8%

21/43
FG2P
M/A

57.1%

16/28

30.4%

7/23
FG3P
M/A

54.2%

13/24

70.6%

24/34
FT
M/A

52.2%

12/23

35

13/22
RT
RO/RD

35

7/28

18

AS

19

6

TO

20

13

ST

4

3

BS

2

22

PF

28

87

Pts

83

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France

France

Ukraine

Ukraine