Turkey Play For Honour

12 September 2007
By Simon Wilkinson

France (2-2) and Turkey (0-4) meet up in the only game that doesn't hold any significance other than honour on the last day of the qualifying round.

Les Bleus will finish third in Group F regardless of the outcome of this game - and others on the day - as they have beaten both Italy (1-3) and Germany (1-3) and would therefore hold the tiebreaker over both of them.

Tony Parker (France)
Parker must bounce back from
his quiet game against Lithuania
Claude Bergeaud's men have already booked their place in the quarter-finals where Russia await them.

Meanwhile Turkey will try to get over a heartbreaking overtime loss to Italy on Monday. That result meant they will miss out on the quarter-finals of the competition for the third time in a row. Pride is what is at stake here for Bogdan Tanjevic's side. They would like to leave having won their last game.

Last Time Out: France lost to Lithuania 88-73 after trailing for the entire game, while Turkey fell short against Italy 84-75 after overtime.

Key Match-up: Hidayet Turkoglu v Boris Diaw. Turkoglu stepped up for Turkey in this tournament. He's averaging 21.2 ppg, has scored in double-digits in every game and lit up the Azzurri for 34 points – the third best scoring performance in the tournament. On the other side will be Diaw, France's versatile player who is trying to bounce back after a few shaky displays in the last three games.

X Factor: It will be interesting to see if Tony Parker can bounce back after a very quiet game against Lithuania. The playmaker was limited to just 11 points - half his average so far in the competition - by Lithuania's stifling defense. Ramunas Butautas's men did a good job of double-teaming - and at times even triple-teaming - the NBA Finals MVP and denying him a straight path to the basket. If he can slice his way through Turkey's defense, France will be much better off.

Statistics: 11 for 36 (30.6%). That's what France shot from three-point territory in their loss to Lithuania the last time out. The 36 attempts are a lot more than Bergeaud has ever seen and would like to see ever again. They must cut down on the long range bombs and make a more consciencious effort of attacking the basket and getting easy

Sounding off: "We talked in the locker-room (after the loss to Lithuania) about the Turkish team, who will play without any pressure and maybe without their NBA players. I'm scared about that. The team want to prove themselves at the end of the competition with players from the home country who want to prove that they can play better than the guys from the NBA. And that is very dangerous." - France coach Claude Bergeaud.


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