See You In Turkey

19.09.2009

By Simon Wilkinson

Game Summary

Turning point: France made a furious comeback after the break, going on a 21-9 run to edge in front 53-52 on Tony Parker's banked shot with 4:05 left in the third quarter. It was their first lead since the opening minutes of the game. With the momentum firmly on their side as they started the final frame with a 61-59 advantage, Les Bleus would add to it the rest of the way.

Hero: Tony Parker. He bounced back in impressive fashion after a sub-par performance against Spain in Thursday's quarter-final to lead the way for Vincent Collet's side. The San Antonio Spurs guard led France's furious comeback and made sure to get his team-mates involved as his 10 assists indicate.

Stats: It all came down to turnovers. France had eight in the opening quarter as they fell behind 26-12 and four more in the second period for a 43-32 deficit at the half. Turkey, who turned the ball over just three times in the first two quarters, gave it away eight times in the pivotal third quarter.  The Turks finished with 16 turnovers, one more than France.

-----------------------------------------------------------

France came back from a 19 point first-half deficit to beat Turkey 80-68 and clinch their place in next year's World Championship in the first 5th-8th place game in Katowice.

Tony Parker had game-highs of 28 points and 10 assists as he bounced back from a sub-par performance against Spain to lead the way for Les Bleus .

Afterwards, Nicolas Batum was satisfied that his team accomplished what they set out to do.

"Our goal was to make it to the World Championship and we have done just that," said the Portland Trailblazers forward.

"We played a bad first half but we showed more heart and determination after the break. I think we have a talented team with young players and this tournament has allowed us to get experience to the World Championship."

"We did fear that the game could get out of our hands in the first half, but we managed to hit big threes and get a good run going in the third quarter."

Trailing 43-32 at the break, France went on a 21-9 run to edge in front 53-52 on Parker's banked shot with 4:05 left in the third quarter. That gave them their first lead since the opening minutes of the game.

Batum scored Les Bleus' first five points after the intermission and they were soon within one, 52-51, thanks to some patient ball movement which resulted in open three-pointers for Antoine Diot and Boris Diaw.

Parker then edged his side in front with his basket and they were up 59-55 when he fed Florent Pietrus for a corner three. They would not trail the rest of the way.

Turkey made four free-throws courtesy of Kerem Tunceri and Hidayet Turkoglu to tie the game at 59 with 1:07 left in the period before Parker hit a pair of foul shots to put France back in front.

The Turks committed three turnovers inside the last minute of the third quarter - they had nine in that frame alone - and France rode their momentum, using a 17-0 run to go up 76-59 in the final quarter.

Bogdan Tanjevic's men went without a single point for 7:06 between Turkoglu's free-throw late in the third period and Oguz Savas' bucket with 4:20 left to play for a 76-61 deficit.

France head coach Vincent Collet admitted his team got off to a very slow start.

"We didn't have the energy early on. It was like we played yesterday and not Turkey. In the second quarter, we started to step up on defense," he said.

"The second half was much better in terms of controlling the ball. We didn't lose the ball but we made them lose the ball. We shot better in the end too. You cannot be good in this game if you let the other team shoot so much better than you."

Early on, France were within four, 14-10, on a Parker free-throw but Turkey then went on a 10-0 run.

Les Bleus turned the ball over seven times in the first quarter and went without a single point for 4:16, between Parker's free-throw and Pietrus' tip-in with 47 seconds remaining to cut the deficit to 24-12.

Omer Anon buried a wing three to give Turkey their first double-digit lead at 20-10 and Turkoglu drove to the basket for a 26-12 lead to end the period.

France continued to struggle early in the second period,  giving the ball away on three consecutive possessions and falling behind 33-14 after Semih Erden made a pair of free-throws with 6:27 left in the half.

Collet's men eventually gave their fans a reason to cheer, as Diot and Parker combined for 11 unanswered points to cut the deficit to 39-32 with 52 seconds to go in the period.

But Turkey closed out the half scoring the last four points, Engin Atsur and Omer Asik teaming up for the alley-oop and the center getting a tip-in just before the buzzer for a 43-32 lead at the break.

France had 12 turnovers by half-time, one more than they did at the same stage of the game against Spain. They gave the ball away only six times in the second half.

And it was the other way around for Turkey, who finished with 16 turnovers, 13 of them after the break.

Tanjevic gave credit to France but conceded his team didn't play full out.

"France are one of the best teams in the competition. Our team played for maybe 15 minutes. And then we gave up our energy to fight until the end," he said.

There was some bad news for France as they will be without Diaw for the 5th-6th place on Sunday after he sprained his ankle in the third quarter and did not return.


RELATED NEWS

France Finish Fifth20.09.2009
Spain Ride Gasol Past France17.09.2009
France Remain Unbeaten15.09.2009
France Remain Perfect, Top Croatia13.09.2009
France Katowice Bound After Demolition Of F.Y.R.O.M.11.09.2009
Preliminarily Perfect09.09.2009
France Book Place In Qualifying Round08.09.2009

Advertisement