|02 July 2013|
|Livio Jean-Charles stood out for France|
France won four of their five games to finish on top in the six-nation Turgut Atakol U20 international tournament in Istanbul, just over a week before the Sportland U20 European Championship tips off in Estonia.
Serbia were the only other side to win four of their five encounters and took second place in the tournament, as France prevailed in the direct clash between the two teams, 59-52.
Hosts Turkey won three games and finished in third place, Germany took fourth spot with two wins, while Sweden and Russia won one game each and came in fifth and sixth, respectively.
Les Blues defeated Russia 75-68 in their opener but then lost 63-58 to Germany on the second day of the tournament.
The incorporation of forward Livio Jean-Charles to the team on the third day of the competition shifted the balance immediately in France's favour, as after that the 2011 silver medallists cruised to two easy victories and also clinched the decider with Serbia.
Jean-Charles, who was draftet by the San Antonio Spurs on Thursday, contributed 9.3 points, 5.7 rebounds, 2.7 assists and 1.7 blocks on average in the three games that he played to propel France to top spot.
|Luka Mitrovic of Serbia was crowned tournament MVP|
The 19-year-old center Mouhammadou Jaiteh, who was voted as the best French player in the Pro B league this season, also delivered solid performances for Jean-Aimé Toupane's team and averaged 10 points, six rebounds and one block per game.
Serbian power forward Luka Mitrovic averaged 13.4 points, 5.4 rebounds and 2.8 assists per clash and was named the MVP of the tournament.
Sweden's sharp-shooter and U18 All Star Game 2011 alumni Tobias Borg was the tournament's top scorer with 18.4 points per game while Russia's Aleksandr Gudumak brought down 10.4 boards per night on average to lead the tournament in rebounds.
France were drawn in First Round Group D at the Sportland U20 European Championship that starts on 9 July, together with Italy, Slovenia, the Czech Republic and hosts Estonia.
Serbia and Germany are in Group A, together with reigning champions Lithuania, Greece and Georgia.
Turkey and Sweden were drawn in Group B and will do battle with Ukraine, Croatia and Montenegro.
Russia will go up against Spain, Bulgaria, Israel and Latvia in Group C.
Turgut Atakol Tournament Results:
Day 1: France- Russia: 75-68; Serbia-Sweden: 79-64; Turkey- Germany: 75-56.
Day 2: Russia- Serbia: 53-82; Germany-France: 63-58; Sweden-Turkey: 82-88.
Day 3: Serbia-Germany: 71-59; Sweden-Russia:77-74; Turkey-France: 40-66.
Day 4: Germany-Sweden: 77-74; France-Serbia: 59- 52; Russia-Turkey: 61-82.
Day 5: Sweden-France: 47-81; Russia-Germany: 83-62; Serbia-Turkey: 74-59.