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France beats Lithuania to win 1st basketball title



France’s Tony Parker, center, celebrates with supporters, after the EuroBasket European Basketball Championship Final match against Lithuania at the Stozice Arena, in Ljubljana, Slovenia, Sunday, Sept. 22, 2013. France won 80-66. AP

LJUBLJANA, Slovenia — France won its first major basketball title by beating Lithuania 80-66 in the final of the European championship on Sunday, despite Tony Parker having a quiet game for once.

Lithuania shut down Parker but could not handle his teammates, who provided the big shots when France needed them.

France broke open a close game by finishing the third quarter with a 14-0 run that kept Lithuania scoreless for four minutes. The French lead grew to 22 points with three minutes remaining in the third and Lithuania never came close to a comeback.

Nicolas Batum had 17 points and Boris Diaw added 15, while Linas Kleiza led Lithuania with 20.

Parker finished with 12 points, after scoring four through the first three quarters. But his scoring and leadership during the run to the final — including 32 points against defending champion Spain in the semifinals — earned the San Antonio Spurs guard the tournament MVP award.

The win finally ended years of frustration for a fine French generation that included six NBA players on its roster. It lost the final to Spain two years ago, having taken bronze in 2005. After finally capturing that elusive gold — in France’srecord 36th appearance in the tournament — Parker led the French team into the stands to celebrate with their fans after the final buzzer.

Spain beat Croatia 92-66 earlier Sunday to earn the bronze medal.

Guard Antoine Diot polished off France’s victory with a 3-pointer at the buzzer, after a Lithuania turnover gave them the possession with 0.9 seconds left.

Boris Diaw threw the ball to Diot, who nailed a 3 that was uphel after the referees viewed the video to make sure he had beaten the clock.

Batum finished the first half with 17 points, shooting 6-for-7 from the field and making three of four 3-pointers.

Diaw took over in the third, scoring 11 points on drives to the basket and outside shots.


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Tags: Boris Diaw , Croatia , Euro Basket , European Championship , France , gold medal , Linas Kleiza , Lithuania , MVP , Nicolas Batum , Spain , Tony Parker

  • wawa2172

    Galing talaga ni Parker, ibinuhos niya nang kanyang galing at experiences sa NBA in playing with France national team and made his country proud by winning the European championship. France. Lithuania and Spain will surely be a contender to beat the US in the next summer Olympics.

    • Maglalawis

      Masyadong malayo pa ang next Summer Olympics, 2016 pa ‘yun para masabi mong kaya nilang talunin ang US. By that time, these players are already aging. Parker for instance will be 34 already. Unless they can produce young talents who are better than the US Basketball Program’s pool of players, then, they might have a chance but I still doubt it.



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