France were crowned champions of the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Croatia thanks to a 73-62 victory against Greece and amidst scenes of high emotion after the final buzzer, the tears flowed freely as they immediately dedicated their gold medal success to former team-mate Jonathan Bourhis who died tragically in a car accident last year.
In a repeat of last year's U20 European Championship Men 2010 final, Greece will once again lock horns with France as the pair battle it out to finish top of the podium. Two players who will be fundamental to their respective teams are the versatile Kostas Papanikolaou, who was crowned MVP last year, and Paul Lacombe who exploded in the semi-final against Spain to enable France to have another shot of trying to finish as champions.
There was a real sense of deja vu at the U20 European Championship Men 2010 in Zadar after France claimed a terrific 86-83 win over Spain in a superbly entertaining encounter to set up a repeat of last years tournament final against Greece.
In an absorbing and compelling contest from tip to buzzer, France were impressive defensively as usual and had many important contributors offensively, though none were more influential than team leader Andrew Albicy or Paul Lacombe who emerged as the hero in the late stages.
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.
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