France Earn Semi-Final Spot

04 August 2005

France will go to the semi-finals of the Termosteps U16 European Championship Men thanks to their defeat of Italy on Thursday in Leon.

Both sides could have grabbed the second spot in Group F with a win, but it was France who advance thanks to a virtuoso performance from guard Antoine Diot.

Diot, who will be a strong contender for tournament MVP, kept France in the game during the first half. He then went on to spearhead a 28-11 French scoring run in the third quarter which effectively decided the game.

Just as in all their games in this tournament, France were slow to start.

Italy took the initiative in the first half, behind 16 points from Andrea Padova and led by as many as 12 points in the second quarter.

But Diot single-handedly kept France in contention, scoring 25 of his side's 41 first half points.

It was Diot's three-pointer at the halftime buzzer which brought France right back into the game, and at the break the scores were tied, 41-41.

The third quarter was all France as they opened the period with an 8-0 run.

By the 30th minute they led 52-69 and there was no way back for Italy.

Diot finished with a game high 33 points for France in his 34 minutes of court time. He also grabbed 9 rebounds and came up with 6 steals.

Turkey secured top spot in the group, although they slipped up in their final match against Croatia, going down 87-72.

Bojan Bogdanovic scored 29 points for Croatia in the win.

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