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Friday, 18 September 2009 23:18

                                      SPAIN VS FRANCE--A ONE SIDED RESULT 

The 2 most anticipated quarterfinal games of Eurobasket 2009, were Spain vs France, which had 15 players with NBA ties involved in it, and Greece vs Turkey (Enough Said). The Spaniards jumped on France early, getting in fastbreak mode, after establishing a dominant Pau Gasol down low. The French had no answer for Pau as he shot 11-13 from the field and scored a game high 28 points. The only player from France, that did not look like he was sleepwalking was Ronny Turiaf, who had 12 points shooting 6-9 from the field, but he fouled out trying to contain the longer Gasol. Spain was flying in the passing lanes, with Navarro, Ricky Rubio, and Rudy Fernandez (who led them with 6 steals) causing havoc to the French offense. When Ricky Rubio is in fast-break mode, he is an NBA highlight package, finding his 3 point marksmen (Navarro and Fernandez), on the wings for open looks and Pau Gasol for trailer play dunks. Tony Parker had a tough shooting day (1-8), for only 6 points. You have to get physical with Spain early, as Serbia did, to take Spain out of the front running pace they love to be in, orelse it is a long day for the other team.     In the other anticipated matchup, with Greece vs Turkey it was a very slow and physical pace in the 1st half with Greece settling for 3 point misses late in the shot clock, as Spanoulis was passive in his play, not attacking the defense as he normally does. Even though Greece dominated the boards, the half ended Greece only up 3 at 29-26. The 3rd quarter went back and forth, with Greece only up 1 after 3 quarters at 47-46. NBA player Hedo Turkoglu, who has been struggling this entire Eurobasket, and was being shut down by Antonis Fotsis and Giorgios Printezis, started getting hot with 6 minutes left in the 4th quarter, and after he hit a 3 pointer with 2:23 left to make it 63-57 Turkey, it was Spanoulis taking over as he set up Zisis (14 points) and Printezis (6 points), for back to back 3's, giving Greece a 65-63 lead with 18 seconds left. It was Ender Arslan, who had a great drive, on a mitchmatch with Fotsis to tie the game at 65-65 at the buzzer. In the overtime it was Euroleague champion teammates, Fotsis and Spanoulis who took over, with Spanoulis hitting 2 big 3's and Fotsis controlling the boards (13 in game). After some bad turnovers by Greece, Turkey had a 3 pointer miss at the buzzer ,and Greece held on 76-74 in a Classic Game. Greece qualifies for the 2010 World Championships in Turkey. For their reward they get a high flying deep Spanish team, that Greece has had trouble with in recent years. With this B version of the Greek team , it is almost a dream to beat Spain, without more help for Spanoulis with his regular veteran teammates.

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Last Updated on Saturday, 19 September 2009 00:49
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