France claim bronze, Parker and Batum will continue on

Eurobasket hosts France have secured the bronze medal by beating Serbia 81-68 at the Stade Pierre Mouroy in Lille.

CSKA Moscow’s Nando De Colo led France with 20 points, supported by Evan Fournier and Rudy Gobert, who both had 15, the latter pulling down 14 rebounds.

Bogdan Bogdanovic paced Serbia with 14 points.

A cagey first quarter, which was tied at 16-16, was broken open in the second as France took a 37-32 lead at the half, thanks to eight points from De Colo.

And from there a further 7-0 spurt extended the hosts’ advantage to 52-39, highlighted by a trademark lay-up by Tony Parker, cutting through the Serbian front line.

Serbia, showing signs of fatigue could not find a way back into the game from there. Despite the best efforts of Bogdanovic, France had too much firepower as the duo of Gobert and Boris Diaw helped the hosts to the finish line.

Gobert ended France’s Eurobasket with a resounding dunk, resulting in a three-point play.

Afterwards, France’s Tony Parker and Nicholas Batum took to the podium that they and the rest of the national team graced during their bronze medal ceremony and announced that they would continue to play for the national team and be stronger for the Rio Olympics.

France, like Serbia will compete in next year’s Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

Photo: Mansoor Ahmed / Mansoor Ahmed Photos