France claims ticket to Rio, blasts Canada in OQT


French backcourt combo Tony Parker and Nando De Colo were too much for the Canadians as France cruised to an 83-74 victory in the final round of FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament to claim the last ticket to the Rio Olympics on Sunday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.

Parker, a National Basketball Association veteran who plays for the San Antonio Spurs, notched in 15 of his 26 points in the payoff period while De Colo added 22 points to help France join other OQT champions Serbia and Croatia to the Olympics.

Parker finished with 9-of-14 shooting in the field plus four rebounds and four assists, while De Colo shot 8-of-12 in the field and had five rebounds. Another NBA veteran Boris Diaw contributed nine points along with four assists and two steals for France.

The French team couldn’t take away the game from the Canadians as the match went close in the final stretch before Parker delivered the needed points.

Parker hit a three-pointer and made two free throws extending France’s advantage to nine, 75-66, with only less than two-minute left in the game.

Canada couldn’t recover from there on.
NBA’s Toronto Raptors guard Cory Joseph led Canada with 20 points on 9-of-16 shooting in the field along with six assists and four rebounds while forward Melvin Ejim produced 19 points on 7-of-10 shooting in the field.


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