On Day 4 of the FIBA World Championships in Turkey, Les Bleus marched on with Nicolas Batum maintaining his fine form but Spain dropped to another defeat.

Unbeaten France produced a strong late rally to defeat Canada 68-63 to all but seal their place in the second phase.

The Canadians. chasing their first win, were just a point down with 19 seconds remaining after the sides – who were level at 28-28 at half-time – traded leads throughout.

However Les Bleus hit four late free-throws with Batum making the last two to top score with 24 points.

In the same group, reigning champions Spain sustained a second loss after a stunning late collapse. Lithuania rallied from an 18-point third quarter deficit to beat the Spaniards 76-73.

A Martynas Pocius three-pointer drew scores level with 5:25 to play, and Linas Kleiza gave them first lead since 6-4 with 1:30 to play. From there the Lithuanians held their nerve in the ensuing free throw shoot-out to record a famous victory with Kleiza ending with 17.

Spain’s are now on course to face Greece in the last-16 round after the 2004 Eurobasket champions lost 76-65 to Turkey.

The hosts were 41-39 behind at half-time but they surged clear in the third period, opening up a gap that peaked at 11 before fighting off a rally from their great rivals

Elsewhere, Russia were pushed all the way before grabbing a 72-66 win over Ivory Coast while New Zealand demolished Lebanon 108-76.

Puerto Rico registered their first win of the World Championships to overhaul China 84-76. 

Angel Vassallo had 22 points and JJ Barea added 13 to go along with nine assists.

Meanwhile, Team USA has extended a hand of friendship to its Iranian rivals.

The two sides are due to meet on Wednesday in Istanbul despite the political tensions between the two countries. The Group B leaders insist the diplomatic rivalry between the nations will have no bearing on the match at  Abdi Ipekci Arena.

USA forward Kevin Durant said: “We are just here to play basketball. The political situation is something we cannot control. We have to go and just play the game of basketball.”

Hamed Haddadi will lead Iran (FIBA)

His sentiments were backed by coach Mike Krzyzewski who said: “It is a sporting event. We have respect for Iran.

“I actually played them in the 1970s when I was in the armed forces. I have great feelings for the country. They are sportsmen and so are we and we will have a great game.”

Team USA has so far beaten Croatia, Slovenia and Brazil while Iran has lost to Brazil and Croatia before finally notching a first win against Tunisia on Monday.

Meanwhile Patrick Baumann, FIBA’s secretary genera says more than 100 random drug tests will be conducted at the world championship.

48 players, two from each team, have been tested to dat eand there will be at least 60 tests more during the tournament

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