In a second half effort Les Bleus downed World Championship 2010 hosts, Turkey to clinch a spot in next year's competition.
Turkey started the game strong to lead 14-10 midway the first quarter. Based on numerous turnovers by the French and over four dry minutes, the Turkish side had a 10-0 run to get a 14-point lead by the end of the first period (12-26).
France continued struggling and turning the ball over early in the second quarter, resulting to a 19-point lead of the Turkish side (14-33). Tony Parker finally stepped up and along with Diot helped the French side run a 11-0 side score, before Turkey closed the quarter with four consecutive points. Turkey went into halftime with an 11-point lead (32-43).
Same Picture in the second half, but this time the roles were reversed: Turkey was turning the ball over and struggling on offense, while France took their first lead with 53-52 backed by a 21-9 run. After Turkey managed to tie the game, France went on a 17-0 run that stretched from late in the third quarter until midway in the fourth to practically seal the deal and the World Championship 2010 qualification. The final score was 80-68 for France.
FRANCE 80-68 TURKEY
France: Diot 13, Batum 13, Jeanneau, Koffi 3, Mahinmi, Parker 28, Bokolo, Pietrus 13, De Colo, Diaw 4, Turiaf 6, Traore
Turkey: Yarangume, Guler 2, Atsur 8, Onan 5, Ilyasova, Erden 6, Tunceri 9, Savas 9, Asik 11, Arslan, Hersek 5, Turkoglu 13
Vincent Collet (France Coach): "We are glad to win this game. Qualification to the World Championship in Turkey was our goal from the beginning, but of course we hoped to advance further. We started today really bad – lacking energy. We stepped up later with our defense and we were much more aggressive, which helped us change this game."
Florent Pietrus: "We wanted to win this game and I have to congratulate my teammates for doing it. We were minus 19, but we still did it and advanced to Turkey next year. We did a great job today, not giving up."
Bogdan Tanjevic (Turkey Coach): "We had excellent 15-20 minutes, but my players lost all energy and France took over the game. Today we were playing without two key players – Ilyasova and Arslan, we also had a very tough game last night against Greece."
Kerem Tunceri: "We had to play two very good teams in less than 24 hours. We were great for 15 minutes, but our condition was bad later during the game. Also France was making shots against our zone defense. We are sorry to lose, because every game we play to win and we always try to keep fighting."