CRUSHED BY TONY PARKER´S CREW
France booked their spot in the quarter-finals with an overwhelming 83-57 victory over Macedonia to remain perfect at EuroBasket 2009.
Florent Pietrus and Nando de Colo led five scorers in double figures for Vincent Collet's team with 14 points each while Tony Parker, Ali Traore and Nicolas Batum all added 13 points. The French improved to 3-0 in the Qualifying Round Group E and join Greece into the final eight, which start on 17 September in Katowice.
"We started very strong. We wanted to put a lot of pressure on Macedonia. We watched their other games and saw that if they could develop their game that they could shoot, including their big men. And we didn't want them to have their position. And that helped us early. And the game was over at half-time," said Collet, whose team used a 17-3 run to start the game and never looked back.
Macedonia slumped to 0-3 in the group despite nine points each from Jeremiah Massey and Darko Sokolov while Predrag Samardziski had seven points and eight rebounds for Jovica Arsic's team, whose team shot just 35 percent for the game.
"They played much better than my team. We didn't play defense like we should have. They scored almost 50 points (48 points) in our point. And that is unacceptable," said Arsic.
Riste Stefanov nailed a three-pointer about two minutes into the game as Arsic's men took their only lead of the game at 3-2. Pietrus and Batum led a 15-0 charge which eventually saw the French lead 24-9 after one period. Parker scored the first seven points of the second quarter for France, who opened the period with a 14-0 surge for a 38-9 advantage. Todor Gechevski finally got Macedonia on the scoring board with four minutes left in the second quarter and Arsic's underdogs trailed 49-18 at intermission.
Pietrus's triple to start the second half pushed the gap to 34 points and Collet's team would not allow their opponents any closer than 28 points in the period and led 67-35 after three quarters.
The French's final reserves came on in the fourth and watched Macedonia go on a 9-3 run to cut the deficit to 70-44. But France scored the next seven points and the gap did not go lower than 26 points the rest of the way.
MD: Again, same as like the one vs Greece, our players looked like lost in there. They did not do their best, this isnt how we are used to play, we dont know what happened, but got crushed big time. Next up, Germany and Russia.