France turns back Australia for FIBA World Cup bronze
BEIJING, China – France exacted revenge on Australia with a come-from-behind 67-59 victory to clinch bronze in the FIBA World Cup at the Wukesong Sports Arena in Beijing, China, on Sunday, September 15.
Absorbing its first loss of the tournament to Australia, France redeemed itself after storming back from 15 points down to replicate its third-place finish from the previous World Cup in Spain.
Nando de Colo waxed hot for 14 of his 19 points in the second half as he played a pivotal role in the 23-point turnaround for France, while Evan Fournier chalked up 16 points and 5 rebounds.
Andrew Albicy was just as crucial in the win by pouring out all of his 9 points – all from three-point distance – in the final quarter, while Nicolas Batum chimed in 9 points and 6 assists.
It was hard on Australia, which similarly led for long periods in its semifinal against Spain before being hauled back in a double-overtime defeat.
Australia led 30-21 at halftime and 38-23 off a Joe Ingles and-one.
But Fournier spearheaded a third-quarter French revival, reducing their deficit to just 42-46 heading into the final period.
France then grabbed the lead, 47-46, off 5 straight points from De Colo to start the last quarter and pulled away for good as Albicy gave his side a comfortable 63-56 cushion with his third three-pointer.
Australia fizzled out and was outscored 13-25 in the payoff period.
Ingles had 17 points and 5 rebounds for Australia, which still secured its best finish in the World Cup after never going beyond the quarterfinals in 11 previous appearances.
Patty Mills added 15 points in the losing effort, while Nick Kay had 9 points. – Rappler.com