Open

Coming up

Don't miss

Replay


LATEST SHOWS

MEDIAWATCH

No strategy and a beige suit

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014 (part 2)

Read more

THE WORLD THIS WEEK

The World This Week - 29 August 2014

Read more

ENCORE!

Alain Choquette: A Hilarious Magician in Paris

Read more

FOCUS

France welcomes Iraqi Christian refugees

Read more

FRANCE IN FOCUS

Emmanuel Macron: A new economy minister with a pro-business agenda

Read more

THE OBSERVERS

More of this year's best Observers stories

Read more

#TECH 24

Changing the world, one video game at a time

Read more

IN THE PAPERS

Socialist Party summer conference kicks off in explosive atmosphere

Read more

  • EU leaders choose Tusk and Mogherini for top jobs, discuss Russia sanctions

    Read more

  • Dozens of UN peacekeepers still held by Syrian jihadists

    Read more

  • Opposition protesters clash with Pakistani police outside PM's house

    Read more

  • Austerity row overshadows French Socialist’s annual rally

    Read more

  • Egypt sentences Brotherhood leader Badie to life

    Read more

  • Ceasfire allows Gaza families to relax on the beach

    Read more

  • S. Africa condemns 'military coup' in Lesotho

    Read more

  • Kerry calls for 'coalition of nations' to battle IS militants

    Read more

  • Ukrainian plane with seven on board crashes in Algeria

    Read more

  • Exclusive: Fabius warns Russia of more sanctions

    Read more

  • IMF backs Lagarde amid French corruption probe

    Read more

  • Ebola drug ‘ZMapp’ heals all monkeys in study

    Read more

  • British killer escapes from French psychiatric hospital

    Read more

  • Police hunt for British boy with brain tumour taken to France

    Read more

  • Ukraine to relaunch NATO membership bid

    Read more

  • Suriname leader’s son pleads guilty to courting Hezbollah

    Read more

  • Mapping Ukraine: Canada and Russia in ‘tweet for tat’ row

    Read more

Sport

Parker leads France into Euro basketball final

© AFP

Text by FRANCE 24

Latest update : 2013-09-21

French NBA player Tony Parker led France's basketball team into the European Championship final on Friday after inspiring their defeat of defending champions Spain 75-72 in overtime. Parker hailed "the biggest victory in [France's] history".

Tony Parker led France’s basketball team into the European championship final on Friday when he scored 32 points in a 75-72 overtime victory that ended Spain’s hold on the competition.

“This is a huge victory for French basketball, maybe the best in its history” Parker told reporters after the game. “But it’s still not a gold medal and we need to stay focused,” he added.

Spain led by 14 points at halftime but the tide turned after the break when Parker’s 3-pointer with just 2 minutes left to play gave France its first lead of the game, 64-63.

“When I was in the locker room at halftime, I felt like we were scared,” said Parker.

“We wanted to be aggressive but until halftime we weren’t really playing, it was a nightmare”, France coach Vincent Collet said after the match. “We talked about it during the break and we came back very different.”

With the score level at 65-65, Parker, who has won three NBA titles with the San Antonio Spurs, had a chance to win the game in regulation but his drive to the basket was blocked by Rudy Fernandez with 11 seconds left. Spain's Jose Calderon then missed a 3-point attempt at the other end.

In overtime, Parker and Antoine Diot scored France’s last 8 points from the free-throw line to keep their team in front and Marc Gasol missed a desperate 3-pointer at the buzzer after Rodriguez had squandered an earlier chance to tie the game.

“We had the last shots in both regulation and overtime but we missed,” Spain coach Juan Orenga said.

Learning from past defeats

Diot was the only other French player in double figures with 10 points, while Gasol led Spain with 19 points and nine rebounds. Point guard Ricky Rubio was largely ineffective, with 2 points, one assist and four turnovers.

“We put a lot of intensity in the game and it allowed us to come back in the second half,” Diot said.

Parker said his team has learnt from past defeats against Spain. “If we’re here today it’s because they pushed us to be a better basketball team, to be strong during games like these,” he said.

Spain beat France to win the title two years ago, but this time it was missing key players Pau Gasol and Juan Carlos Navarro.

“It’s very disappointing to lose a game we led for 37 minutes. We played great defense in the first half but in the second we let them play their rhythm,” said Rodriguez, who finished with 11 points, 9 assists and 6 rebounds.

Parker finished with five turnovers and one assist, along with six rebounds.

The French will meet Lithuania on Sunday after the Baltic nation defeated Croatia 77-62 on the back of 63 points from three back-court players earlier in the day. Spain will now play Croatia for the bronze before Sunday’s final.

“Two years ago we were so happy to qualify for the Olympics that we botched the final. Now, we have to control our joy, and stay concentrated for the final,” Parker said.

(FRANCE 24 with wires)

Date created : 2013-09-21

  • BASKETBALL

    Miami Heat beat Spurs for back-to-back NBA titles

    Read more

  • BASKETBALL

    Frenchman's Chicago Bulls dreams come true

    Read more

  • OLYMPIC GAMES 2012

    US beat France to basketball gold record

    Read more

COMMENT(S)