Spain shows teeth, knocks undefeated France out

ImageSpain put all the bad performances of the previous stages in the past as they left no chance to previously unbeaten France, crushing them with 66-86 to advance to the semifinal.

Spain dominated the game from the beginning until the end behind 28 points of an amazing Pau Gasol, while Tony Parker was not allowed to step up for the French. The Spaniards took a ten-point lead with the end of the first quarter (15-25) which would grow to 15 by halftime (32-47).

 

The Spanish lead grew further in the third quarter reaching 21 points at the end of it (52-73). France tried to fight back in the final quarter and they actually came as close as 11 points with just under 5 minutes to play, but Spain quickly showed that they had everything under control as they answered with 6 consecutive points to seal the deal.

 

Spain becomes the second team of Group F to advance to the semifinals. Both Serbia and Spain beat teams that were seeded higher.

 

FRANCE 66-86 SPAIN

 

France: Diot 3, Batum 7, Jeanneau 3, Koffi 6, Mahinmi, Parker 6, Bokolo 2, Pietrus 3, De Colo 7, Diaw 9, Turiaf 12, Traore 8

Spain: P.Gasol 28, Fernandez 16, Rubio 8, Navarro 11, Claver, Reyes 8, Cabezas, Lopez, Llull, M.Gasol 6, Mumbru 6, Garbajosa 3

 

Game quotes:

 

S. Scariolo (Spain coach): "Our physical condition is so much different that we can now work however we want to. We beat an excellent team. They have heart and pride and never gave up."

A. Mumbru: "We were very focused from the start. We played at a high tempo and now we are in the semi-finals which is where we want to be."

B. Diaw: "We just got behind them and they are a great team. So once you get behind them, they're not going to let you back in. We can't get a medal but we can qualify for the world championship next year."

V. Collet (France coach):
"I think they dominated the game from the beginning and never let us come back. After showing improvement in the last two or three games, they made us fall back. We had problems moving and swinging the ball against their defense. We had problems finding solutions.  In the second half we got down to 11 but they were too good for us."