Even though they lost in their final game of the second round on Sunday, the French National team was ready for the Quarter-Finals Wednesday with the chance to advance to the Semi-Finals at the 2013 Eurobasket as they eliminated host Slovenia late in the fourth quarter with a 72-62 victory.
Les Bleus was led in the victory by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker who tallied 27 points and three rebounds in his 35 minutes of play. Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum poured in 14 points behind Parker, while Spurs forward Boris Diaw added 10 points, six rebounds, and three assists in his 32 minutes. Spurs guard Nando De Colo came off the bench with four points in 17 minutes.
Goran Dragic, a player Parker has NBA history with as Dragic helped the Phoenix Suns eliminate the Spurs a few years ago in a playoff match-up, led Slovenia with 18 points. Here are a few highlights from France's win including a Parker breakaway steal for a transition layup, a Batum slam, and Dragic scoring in a variety of ways.
France will now advance to play Spain on Friday in the Semi-Finals. Though the Spanish are without some of their NBA talent in Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol and Oklahoma City Thunder forward Serge Ibaka, they still have plenty of play makers in Memphis Grizzlies center Marc Gasol, Minnesota Timberwolves point guard Ricky Rubio, and former NBA player Rudy Fernandez. Spain knocked out Serbia Wednesday with a 30-point blow-out.
After Wednesday's win, Spurs guard Manu Ginobili sent out praise to his Spurs teammates representing France.
Congrats to teammates @TonyParker, @theborisdiaw & @NandoDeColo on qualifying to Spain'14! Great job guys!
— Manu Ginobili (@manuginobili) September 18, 2013
Marco Belinelli and Italy will play Thursday in the Quarter-Finals against Lithuania.