The French national team led by San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker entered the game on Wednesday at the 2011 EuroBasket opener against Latvia as the heavy favorites for a reason, they are loaded with NBA-talent.
However, Spurs 2011 draftee Davis Bertans and the Latvian national team did not go down without a fight. Latvia surprised Team France during the opening period, that ended up 25-18 in Latvia’s favor.
France quickly tried to return the favor winning the second quarter 22-16 to cut Latvia’s lead 41-40 at the half.
It was a close game for the most part, Latvia shot 47.8 percent from behind the arc compared to just 31.6 from France that kept the Latvian’s in the game.
In the third period, France relied on top players to take the quarter 23-18 and held a 63-59 margin heading into the final period.
In the final quarter, France just proved too much for Latvia to handle, as Team France claimed the 89-78 victory.
Parker led the French nationals with 31 points, seven assists and three rebounds while shooting 61.1 percent from the field in 38 minutes.
Boris Diaw added 14 points, Mickael Gelabale had 11, and Joakim Noah and Nicolas Batum scored 10 points each.
Spurs draftee Nando De Colo had four points and one assists in 12 minutes of playing time.
Janis Blums had a game-high 32 points for Team Latvia, Rolands Freimanis added 11 points while Spurs’ Bertans had nine points, three rebounds, one block and shot 60 percent from the floor in just 13 minutes of action.
Davis Bertans and Latvia will play against Serbia at 15:15 (GMT +3), while Parker and Team France will take on Israel 17:45 (GMT +3) in Siauliai tomorrow.