France rallies to avoid upset vs New Zealand

Naveen Ganglani
France rallies to avoid upset vs New Zealand

Martin San Diego

France erases a 10-point lead entering the fourth period to go 2-0 in the Manila OQT

MANILA, Philippines – The France national basketball team erased a 48-38 deficit entering the fourth quarter and came away with a 66-59 victory over New Zealand during the last day of the FIBA Manila Olympic Qualifiers on Thursday, July 7, at the Mall of Asia Arena.

The win gives France an undefeated 2-0 record entering the semifinals where it will face Turkey, while 1-1 New Zealand will take on Canada in the other semis game. Both contests take place on Saturday, with the winning two teams battling in the finals for a ticket to the Rio Olympics.

France out-scored New Zealand 28-11 in the final period, sparked by a 20-4 run to open the final quarter. Mickael Gelabale and Boris Diaw had 11 and 10 points, respectively to lead the Frenchmen while Tony Parker had 6 points after taking only 5 shots from the field.  No player of France took at least 10 shot attempts.

New Zealand was led by the 21 points of Corey Webster. His brother, Tai, scored 9 points. –

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