EuroBasket 2015, Quarterfinals Day 1: Spain, France set semifinal showdown

Sep 15, 2015 by Print
EuroBasket 2015, Quarterfinals Day 1: Spain, France set semifinal showdown

Spain 73-71 Greece

Spain is the first semifinalist of the EuroBasket 2015 after a hard-fought 73-71 quarterfinals win over Greece on Tuesday in Lille. Spain will play host nation France in the semis. Against the Greeks, Spain jumped ahead early on behind Pau Gasol and Sergio Llull. After Greece caught up later in the first period, Gasol, Nikola Mirotic, and Sergio Rodriguez took control, leading Spain to a 9-point lead, and 39-32 at halftime. Olympiacos Piraeus duo Vassilis Spanoulis and Georgios Printezis led Greek charge at the start of the third, and Greece used a 0-11 run to take 42-46 lead. But Spain stayed close, and took the lead for good early in the fourth period. They pulled away after Mirotic hit 4 of 4 from the free throw line for 68-61 with exactly two minutes to go. A pair of layups by Nick Calathes of Panathinaikos Athens in the last 70 seconds gave Greece hope, and his triple with 15.5 seconds cut it to 70-68. After a pair of free throws from Rodriguez, Kostas Sloukas of Fenerbahce Istanbul nailed a triple to cut make it a 1-point game with 4.1 seconds left, but Gasol split free throws and all Greece could do was a desperation mid-court attempt that missed. Gasol finished with 27 points and 9 rebounds, former two-time Euroleague Rising Star Trophy winner Mirotic had 18 points, and Real Madrid point guard Rodriguez had 10 points and 5 assists. For Greece, Calathes finished with 14 points, 7 assists and 5 rebounds. Giannis Antetokounmpo amassed 12 points and 17 rebounds, Printezis scored 13, and Spanoulis 10 in defeat.

France 84-70 Latvia

Host nation France rallied from an early deficit to beat Latvia 84-70, and book its place in the semifinals. Latvia fought hard and played well in the first half. Behind Kristaps Janicenoks and Dairis Bertans of Dominion Bilbao Basket, Latvia had 17-25 in the first quarter, but Mickael Gelabale of Le Mans Sarthe Basket sparked an 11-4 spurt that had Tony Parker string together 9 points for 40-38 halftime lead. After the break, France took control. Nando De Colo of CSKA Moscow hit a triple and a jumper for 47-38 in the early going of the third quarter, and France extended it to 64-47 in the fourth before cruising to victory. Parker had 18 points and 6 assists, Boris Diaw scored 14, Rudy Gobert 13, while De Colo finished with 11 points, 7 rebounds and 5 assists. Janicenoks netted 16, while Janis Strelnieks of Brose Baskets Bamberg collected 14 points and 7 assists for Latvia. Bertans added 12 points in defeat.