FRANCE CELEBRATE ELUSIVE TITLE

eb 2013 logo 568The wait is over. France coasted to victory in the 2013 EuroBasket final, crushing Lithuania 80-66 in Ljubljana to claim their first major championship.

And they did it in style, brushing aside their final foes with a display with combined flair and toughness in equal measures.

Nicolas Batum was their hero, igniting their bid with 17 points in the first half.

A run of 13 straight points into the break gave the, a 50-34 lead. Lithuania were simply unable to recover.

The French defence, often their Achilles heel, was stifling, ensuring their rivals would be kept at bay.

Even though Tony Parker, the MVP of the championships, was held to just 12 points, he had all the help he needed.

And finally France’s generation of NBA stars walked off the court in Ljubliana with gold around their necks.

“The team who came out playing defence was going to win this game,” Batum said. “Both teams were scoring too easily. So we starting talking about our defence, what we should do. Then we started running, making some big shots. We got a good lead in the first half, controlled the second and we did it.”

Linas Kleiza had a game-high 20 points for Lithuania.

Earlier, Spain – the outgoing champions – claimed a consolation bronze, defeating Croatia 92-66.

But the night, and the tournament, belonged to Les Bleus.

All Tournament Team: Tony Parker, Goran Dragic, Bojan Bogdanovic, Linas Kleiza, Marc Gasol

 

Updates via Twitter.

Earlier, Spain – the outgoing champions – claimed a consolation bronze, defeating Croatia 92-66.

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