France will face Spain in the EuroBasket final on Sunday night after les Bleus despatched Russia 79-71 to book their spot in the tournament climax.

But it took a ferocious display in the fourth quarter from Vincent Collet’s men to finally end the unbeaten record of the 2007 champions and secure their place at the London Olympics.

The sides were level midway through the third but a 13-4 run gave France just enough breathing space as Russia, led by 21 points from Andrei Kirilenko, succumbed – and they will now play Macedonia for bronze as well as looking ahead to next summer’s qualification tournament.

Tony Parker hit a game-high 22 points for the French with Nicolas Batum adding 19.

More follows.

Spain 92 Macedonia 80

Spain will get the opportunity to defend their EuroBasket title on Sunday night in Kaunas after Juan Carlos Navarro propelled the reigning champions to a 92-80 victory over Macedonia.

It took until the second half for Sergio Scariolo’s men to shake off their rivals, who produced yet another disciplined display. This time, however, they did not have quite enough offensive firepower to hang in right until the end.

And with Navarro scoring 19 of his 35 points in the third quarter, the Spaniards were able to pull away to book a showdown with France to decide the title.

“It’s a great honour to be in the title game after beating them,” said Scariolo. “Navarro was like a maestro today. He was like a picture in the Louvre or something like that. He’s an artist of basketball in Europe. In those moments when he’s hot it’s like he’s on his own cloud and he creates so much. It’s a joy to have him on our team and he’s a great person as well. Everybody contributed for this win, and in the second half we played something that is more similar to our defence.

After a tight first quarter, Spain shook off early foul trouble to Pau Gasol to threaten to assert themselves when they swept 26-18 when Sergio Lliull hit a three on the buzzer.

Soon, there was even the rare sign of Ricky Rubio doing likewise, his first from long range after 13 consecutive misses in this tournament. But Macedonia, as they have shown before, do not roll over.

A 10-0 run capped by Damjan Stojanovski propelled the underdogs towards a 45-44 lead at half-time and Spain, making too many errors, looked rattled.

Enter Navarro into the equation. Hitting one scorer after another, the Barcelona guard could not be stopped and his team surged 71-62 in front by the end of the third with a 13-4 run.

The cushion increased to as much as 11 and try as Macedonia – and Bo McCalebb, who had 25 points – tried, there was no route back as Spain secured their place at London 2012 Olympics.

“We have a big heart and we wanted to play good basketball,” said Macedonia coach Marin Dokuzovski. “We knew who was our opponent – a great team in Spain – and we knew it’s going to be very difficult to surprise them.

“We didn’t play defence as good as we did in previous games, but that was because of our tiredness and their offensive rebounds. We played really good and I believe we didn’t disappoint our fans.”

Earlier, Greece defeated Serbia 87-77 in an effective play-off for a place in the Olympic qualifying tournament.  The Greeks will now meet Lithuania for fifth place at EuroBasket.

Fixtures. Saturday. Seventh place playoff. Serbia v Slovenia (4pm), Fifth place. Lithuania v Greece (7pm).

Sunday. Third place play-off. Macedonia v Russia (3.30). Final. Spain v France (7pm)

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