Spain defeats Parker, France for EuroBasket title

After helping France gain a spot at the 2012 London Olympics, San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker knew that there is still a job to be done.

Tony Parker's 26-point effort weren't enough to lead France to a EuroBasket crown against defending champion Spain. (Photo via FIBA.com)

Win the 2011 EuroBasket title.

Against a tough opponent in defending champion Spain, Parker did his best scoring 26 points for France but got little help and could not bring his team its first continental title.

With both teams trading baskets in the opening quarter, Oklahoma City Thurder’s Serge Ibaka had five blocks in the second quarter helping Spain to build a 10-point lead and keep the French nationals at bay.

Rudy Fernandez of the Dallas Mavericks earned himself the wrath of the French nation, when he yanked Parker in mid-air as the French superstar was going for a layup.

Fernandez earned an unsportsmanlike foul leaving Parker lying momentarily motionless on the court. But to the relief of everyone (especially Spurs fans!) Parker got back to his feet, hitting the two subsequent free throws to put his team on a 7-0 run and bring France within, 46-41 late in the second quarter.

Continue reading

Spurs’ Parker gets a chance to put stamp on legacy

As France meets defending champion Spain for the 2011 EuroBasket title match on Sunday, aolsportingnews.com provided a feel good story about San Antonio Spurs guard and French superstar Tony Parker.

San Antonio Spurs' Tony Parker is the unquestioned leader of the French national team. If he leads them to a EuroBasket crown, it will put a stamp on his legacy.

There will be familiar names up and down the rosters of the French and Spanish national teams — Pau and Marc Gasol, Ricky Rubio, Serge Ibaka, Rudy Fernandez, Boris Diaw, Joakim Noah, Nicolas Batum.

But other than seeing those guys in action, this will be a game worth watching, because it will tell us a lot about the guy who has come to define French basketball in the last decade, for better or for worse: Tony Parker.

Continue reading

Parker, France defeats Russia; earned Olympic spot and advances to EuroBasket Finals

With an Olympic berth on the line, San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Team France showed that with talent, perseverance and hard work it can be done.

Facing the only unbeaten team in the 2011 EuroBasket, the French had the daunting task to hand the Russians their first loss in the tournament in order to earn a spot in next year’s London Olympics.

Tony Parker and Team France gained an Olympic berth on Friday by beating Russia 79-71. (Photo via ESPN)

With the help of the Parker and Portland Trail Blazers’ swingman Nicolas Batum they did.

France won the opening quarter 17-16 and then extended their lead over Russia at halftime, 39-34.

Continue reading

Parker, France advances to EuroBasket semis; Lorbek and Slovenia falls to Lithuania

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker scored eight of his 18 points in the fourth quarter as France rallied to beat Greece 64-56 Thursday and set up a semifinal match against Russia at the 2011 EuroBasket Championship.

Tony Parker leads France into the EuroBasket semifinals.

France started the game slow, scoring just 14 points in the opening quarter and found themselves trailing Greece, 27-31 after the first half of play.

The slow pace and low scoring trend continued in the third quarter as the Greeks held on to a 43-40 lead going into the fourth quarter.

However, Parker scored four straight points to cap an 8-0 run early in the fourth quarter to give France a five-point lead and never looked back.

Ioannis Bourousis kept Greece in the game until Nicolas Batum of the Portland Trail Blazers made two straight baskets with a block in between to give France a six-point lead with a little more than a minute to go.

Continue reading

Should the Spurs consider bringing in De Colo when the lockout is settled?

France national team head coach Vincent Collet has been relying a lot on San Antonio Spurs point guard Tony Parker to run their offense and lead the French offensive attack.

Spurs' draftee Nando De Colo could be a good addition to San Antonio's backcourt rotation.

In their last game prior to the 2011 EuroBasket quarter final round, Collet chose to sit Parker to give his French superstar some much needed rest.

In a recent interview with FIBA, the coach was asked what move will he do in case something happens to Parker (fingers crossed) in the tournament.

He replied:

“So far I have been going to Nando De Colo to replace Tony because he has been doing a good job and I think he is playing better now that he has had some minutes at the point guard position because he likes to run the ball so the position suits him.”

Those are encouraging words for De Colo and should give him more confidence when he plays on the court.

In eight games at Eurobasket, the Spurs draftee is averaging 5.5 points and 2.0 rebounds while shooting 43.9 percent from the field in 16 minutes per game. On top of that he is also a perfect 6-of-6 from the foul line.

Not eye-popping numbers, but its pretty solid considering his primary role is to play backup to Parker.

Continue reading

Spain overpowers France as Parker and Noah rest

With his team already advancing to the quarterfinal round, France’s national team head coach Vincent Collet chose to rest two of his starters for a reason.

Spurs' Draftee gets extended minutes for Team France with Tony Parker resting.

He felt that it’s better for his team to be as healthy as possible heading into the next round where all the teams will start from scratch; the game against Spain was practically a non-bearing.

“Noah got a hit in the calf and he wanted to play, but the doctor said no,” Collet said. “Tony has played more than 30 minutes in each of the previous games and he needed a rest.”

Mickael Gelabale was also out with a previous knee injury.

Even with San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah not playing, France led 22-21 after the first quarter and stayed within one at halftime.

However, the Spaniards used a big third quarter surge to run away with the win and send France its first defeat of the tournament.

Continue reading

Spurs’ De Colo and Parker led France to defeat Lithuania at EuroBasket

San Antonio Spurs guard Tony Parker and the French national team are undefeated after six games at the 2011 EuroBasket. Facing host Lithuania, that unblemished record was put to the test.

Spurs' Nando De Colo turned out his best performance in the 2011 EuroBasket to help France stay unbeaten after seven games.

France won the opening quarter, 18-16 and stretched their lead, 34-28 over Lithuania at the break.

However, the Lithuanians made a strong comeback in the third quarter holding France to just nine points in the period while scoring 18 on the offensive end to take a 46-43 advantage heading into the fourth.

In the fourth quarter, the French nationals found their touch and outscored Lithuania 30-21, enroute to their seven straight win in the tournament beating the Lithuanians 73-67.

Spurs draftee Nando De Colo played his best game in the tournament and led France with 21 points, four rebounds and five steals while shooting 57.1 percent from the field in 26 minutes of action.

Parker also had a good game and finished with 19 points, three rebounds, one assist and a steal in 33 minutes of play.

Simas Jasaitis top scored for Lithuania with 13 points, while Jonas Valanciunas added 12 points in a losing cause.

Parker and Team France will face perhaps their biggest challenge in the tournament when they play against the Gasol brothers and Spain at 18:00 (GMT +3) in Vilnius on Sunday.

Parker’s France, Lorbek’s Slovenia remained unbeaten at EuroBasket

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and the French national team needed a fourth quarter rally to beat a pesky Italian squad 91-84.

Tony Parker suffered a bruised thigh in France's win over Italy.

Italy led 23-20 after the opening period and held a 48-41 advantage over France at halftime.

Both teams scored just 19 points apiece in the third quarter and Italy had a 7-point lead going into the final quarter.

However, that is the time where Team France’s offense clicked.

The French national team outscored Italy 31-17 in the final quarter to stay undefeated at the EuroBasket.

Charlotte Bobcats’ Boris Diaw led Team France with 21 points, Portland Trail Blazers’ Nicolas Batum added 21 points and four steals, while Chicago Bulls’ Joakim Noah had 10 points and seven boards.

Continue reading

Parker, France defeat Israel at EuroBasket for second straight win

San Antonio Spurs’ Tony Parker and Team France had a slow start on their first game at 2011 EuroBasket. Against Israel, the French national team made sure it wasn’t the case.

Spurs' Tony Parker leads France to second straight victory.

France started the game strong taking the first quarter 24-14, but Israel tried to fight back in the second quarter cutting the lead to 42-35 at halftime.

With Parker attacking the basket and creating for his teammates, Team France pulled away in the third quarter outscoring Israel 22-13 and built a 16-point lead entering the fourth quarter.

In the final period, Israel and France just traded baskets as the French nationals claimed their second victory at the 2011 EuroBasket, 85-68 against Israel.

Continue reading

Parker’s 31 points powers France to victory over Bertans, Latvia

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.

France needed 31 points from Tony Parker to put away Davis Bertans and Latvia.

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.

Continue reading