France storms back to beat Montenegro, Georgia, Russia log wins

By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]

In a tough battle at Palais des Sports de Pau, France outscored Montenegro, 24-11, in the fourth quarter to secure the narrow win, 73-67, Friday evening.

Despite foul trouble, Louis Labeyrie recorded a team-high 18 points. Isaia Cordinier followed with 16 points to go along with eight rebounds, four assists, and two steals in the FIBA World Cup European Qualifiers Gameday 1 contest. Experienced guard Vladimir Mihailovic poured 23 points behind 9/14 field goals, including 5/7 three-pointers for the losing side.

From Moscow to Tbilisi in 24 hours, Tornike Shengelia went from CSKA and the Turkish Airlines EuroLeague to a 16-point, 13-rebound double-double for Georgia in the win, 88-83, against Ukraine. Thad McFadden and Giorgi Shermadini combined for 50 more points, 27 and 23, respectively.

A solid fourth quarter lifted Russia over Italy, 92-78, at Yubileynyy. Anton Astapkovich connected five three-pointers en route for a game-high 21 points. Sergey Toropov contributed 17 points. Stefano Tonut registered a team-high 20 points for the visitors.

Bosnia and Herzegovina came back from a 14-point deficit to beat the Czech Republic, 97-90. Dzanan Musa and Amar Gegic had 21 and 20 points, respectively. David Jelinek finishing with 31 points was not enough for the visitors.

Spain dominated North Macedonia in the lopsided win, 94-65, at Skopje. Yankuba Sima in his senior debut got to 17 points. Xabier Lopez-Arostegui added 15 points.

At Klaipeda’s Svyturio Arena Lithuania made short work of Bulgaria, 89-69. Osvaldas Olisevicius stood out with 20 points, powered by 6/8 from beyond the arc.

Zoltan Perl logged 19 points as Hungary held on for the 81-75 victory versus Portugal on the road.

Martin Hermannsson scored 27 points, including a clutch triple for Iceland in the away win, 79-77, against Netherlands.

Friday results and standings:

Group A

1. Belgium 2 (1-0)
2. Serbia 2 (1-0)
3. Latvia 1 (0-1)
4. Slovakia 1 (0-1)

Group B

1. Belarus 2 (1-0)
2. Great Britain 2 (1-0)
3. Greece 1 (0-1)
4. Turkey 1 (0-1)

Group C

1. Sweden 2 (1-0)
2. Slovenia 2 (1-0)
3. Croatia 1 (0-1)
4. Finland 1 (0-1)

Group D

1. Israel 2 (1-0)
2. Estonia 2 (1-0)
3. Germany 1 (0-1)
4. Poland 1 (0-1)

Group E
Portugal – Hungary 75-81
France – Montenegro 73-67

1. Hungary 2 (1-0)
2. France 2 (1-0)
3. Portugal 1 (0-1)
4. Montenegro 1 (0-1)

Group F
Lithuania – Bulgaria 89-69
Bosnia and Herzegovina – Czech Republic 97-90

1. Lithuania 2 (1-0)
2. Bosnia and Herzegovina 2 (1-0)
3. Czech Republic 1 (0-1)
4. Bulgaria 1 (0-1)

Group G
Georgia – Ukraine 88-83
North Macedonia – Spain 65-94

1. Spain 2 (1-0)
2. Georgia 2 (1-0)
3. Ukraine 1 (0-1)
4. North Macedonia 1 (0-1)

Group H
Russia – Italy 92-78
Netherlands – Iceland 77-79

1. Russia 2 (1-0)
2. Iceland 2 (1-0)
3. Netherlands 1 (0-1)
4. Italy 1 (0-1)

-Top three teams of each group advance to the next round

Wrapping up the international window, Gameday 2 Sunday through Monday.

Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL

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