France Bounce Back To See Off Turkey
France bounced back from a tough loss to cruise to an 83-64 victory over Turkey at the U18 European Championship Men as Alexis Tanghe led the way with 22 points.
Andrew Albicy collected 12 points, seven rebounds and 13 assists while Nicolas Lang and Miguel Buval both added 12 points and Paul Lacombe added eight points and 10 rebounds for Philippe Ory's team.
One day after losing to Latvia by 21 points, France improved to 3-1 in the Qualifying Round Group F and have good chances of reaching Saturday's semi-finals.
Turkey dropped to 1-3 and are eliminated from the race for the semi-finals. Taner Günay's team, however, still can qualify for the 5th-8th place Semi-final round - the winner of which is expected to gain a spot at next summer's U19 World Championship. Turkey power forward Enes Kanter was held to seven points and three rebounds, and no player scored in double figures for the Turks.
Buval started the game with five points early to spark a 14-9 France lead and Christophe Leonard's basket made it 16-12. But the Turks fought back and Can M. Mutaf's long ball helped Günay's team to a 19-16 advantage.
France cut it to 19-18 after one period and then scored the first nine points of the second quarter for a 27-19 cushion. Mükremin Kilicli hit Turkey's first basket of the period with 7:30 to play but Tanghe nailed two scores in opening a 32-23 advantage.
Günay had seen enough and took out most of his starters as reserves Ilhan Gökalp and Firat Töz pulled Turkey within 39-32. But the lead was 42-36 at the break.
France reeled off the first six points of the second half and six different players scored in a 12-2 surge to establish a 64-45 lead. And Leonard's basket late in the third pushed the margin to 21 points before Gökalp's trey made it 68-50 going into the fourth.
Tanghe opened the final period to re-establish a 20-point advantage and Turkey attempted to get back into the game, with Melih Mahmutoglu's basket cutting the deficit to 74-59 with less than four minutes left. But Tanghe scored again and Lang knocked down a trey in pushing the gap to 24 points late in the game - 83-59.