France denies Russia Eurobasket final

France and Spain will contest the European basketball championship final and have qualified for next year’s Olympics in London.

Les Bleus defeated Russia 79-71 in Friday’s late game to reach their first-ever EuroBasket final.

Their main star Tony Parker got 22 points, and Nicolas Batum supported his teammate with an all-action line of 19 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 2 blocks.

The difference was made during the third quarter. As the game was tied 45-45, France made a decisive 8-0 run from which Russia were never able to recover.

Andrey Kirilenko, who claimed 21 points, tried to rally his team late in the game, managing to get within four points, but it was too little, too late.

France joins Spain in the final game. The reigning champions beat Macedonia 92-80. Carlos Navarro scored 35 points in a performance his coach called a “masterpiece.”

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