Fifth place in the tournament will be contested between France and hosts Spain, after they both won in big victories against Croatia and Turkey respectively.
France overcame Croatia 75-59 in one-sided but entertaining game, before Spain showed some often spectacular play in their big 84-64 win over Turkey.
Just as they did yesterday France gave everything in this game as they seem determined to
finish as high as they can in the rankings despite the disappointment of missing out on a medal.
|Pablo Aguilar was the top scorer for Spain with 25 points. |
They stayed just in front during a tight first quarter, thanks in the most part to Edwin Jackson who scored 10 of his side’s 14 points that quarter.
He eventually ended the game with 28 points.
Croatia star Filip Kruslin was looking tired, not weighing in with the points his team has relied on previously this tournament, and that impeded Croatia as France got into their stride in an excellent second quarter.
As Jackson continued scoring well he was joined by Luc Louvés and Jonathan Tornato with seven and six points respectively.
Antoine Diot started to control the game well as France got away from Croatia with an 8-0 run before finishing the quarter 14 points in front after a Jackson shot from halfway at the buzzer.
A slight Croatian comeback in the third was led by Marino Sarlija and the battling Pavle Marcinkovic with seven and five points each.
But it was only enough to bring them back within 10 points of France going into the final phase, and here France sentenced the game with Diot and Jackson combining well to run up the 16 point win.
Hosts Spain then took to the court in front of some vocal fans who had come to raise their team’s spirits after missing out on the semis despite some good play so far in the competition.
Another good performance from Pablo Aguilar, who has grown in stature as the tournament has continued, and from a revitalised Ricky Rubio meant that Spain were soon back to the
business winning in style.
|Rubio was also back in form, finishing with 19 points and eight assists. |
Spain soon got on with running up a big lead early on.
A 9-0 run meant the hosts were 10 points ahead, 19-9, with 4:02 remaining in the first, and from their Spain never looked back.
With Rubio weighing in with six assists and Aguilar with 17 points Spain were well on top by halftime, going into the break 16 points ahead at 49-33.
In the third Spain started to show some of the flair the crowds had come to see when with 6:33 left in the quarter Rubio stole the ball away from Volkan Incekara, and passed to Rai López who set up a stylish alley-oop for Xavier Rabaseda.
It was a turning point as Turkey stepped up to start their comeback.
With no Dogus Balbay it was left to Birkan Batuk and Can Özcan to lead the way for Turkey, the latter in particular doing well with nine points in this phase.
With Batuk and Özcan rebounding well Turkey limited Spain’s chances and managed to bring it back to within nine points at the start of the final quarter.
That lead was cut to seven, 64-57, with 8:52 remaining.
But it couldn’t last and when Rubio spun and dazzled his way to the rim to set up Pere Tomas for a lay up Spain started to pull away again.
With 1:53 remaining that lead had grown to the final 20 point lead and the game slowed to walking pace as the clock ticked down with the Spanish fans singing their team home, having booked their date with France.