Spain and France advance to EuroBasket championship gamePosted by Inside Hoops
The AP reports:
Defending champion Spain and first-time finalist France will compete for the European basketball title on Sunday and have qualified for next year’s Olympics in London.
Juan Carlos Navarro scored 35 points in a performance his coach called a “masterpiece” as Spain beat Macedonia 92-80 in the first semifinal on Friday.
France got 22 points from Tony Parker to beat Russia 79-71 in the late game. Nicolas Batum added 19 points for France, which reached the championship game for the first time.
“I’ve been chasing this for 11 years and I’m very happy that I can finally say I’m going to the Olympics,” Parker said.
France won a silver medal in 1949 but the tournament was played in a different format and did not have a final.
France went on a 10-2 to finish the third quarter and pull away. Going into the fourth, the run was 16-4, with eight points coming from Ali Traore.
Pau Gasol had 22 points and 17 rebounds for Spain.
Navarro scored 19 points in the third quarter to break open a close game. Spain coach Sergio Scariolo did not hold back in praising his point guard.