France breezed into the semi-finals of the U20 European Championship Men 2010 after a spectacular and flawless first quarter bombardment from the perimeter left Ukraine feeling shell-shocked and eventually on the wrong end of an 80-57 blowout.
Having been decidedly cold from outside for most of the tournament, the change of scenery certainly suited the French who lit up the Kresimir Cosic Hall in Zadar with an incredible seven of seven from downtown during the opening period.
They powered their way into a 19 point lead to give their opponent a mountain to climb but looking a little nervous on offence , Ukraine found the one constant of France difficult to deal with - namely their stifling defence which was always going to make the mountain seem that little bit higher.
Ukraine had started confidently with Oleksandr Osnach flushing down a dunk but things quickly fell apart in spectacular fashion as France lit it up big-time and belatedly found some range. Even with three quarters still to play, at 31-12, a comeback looked highly unlikely for Ukraine for whom it looked to be maybe just one game too far in this competition.
France continued shooting the ball well for the remainder of the game but it was their incessantly swarming intensity and energy on each defensive assignment that truly impressed.
The story of a one-sided opening half hardly needed underlining but just in case anybody was in any doubt, a three-pointer by Maxime Courby completed the scoring to give his team a huge 46-27 lead heading to the locker rooms.
Ukraine could make little impression in the second half and consequently Les Bleus eased their way into the last four.
France finished with 11 players on the score-sheet as seven players found a score from outside with Alexis Tanghe claiming 19 points including five three-pointers while Andrew Albicy dished up 7 assists.
Kyryl Natyazhko posted 16 points, 9 rebounds and 4 assists for Ukraine.
Watch France's postgame reaction here.