By Eurohoops team / [email protected]
It was a tough battle but France came through to beat Italy 84-75 to advance to the Olympic tournament semifinals on Tuesday. Les Bleus will face Slovenia for a ticket to the grand final on Saturday.
Rudy Gobert took charge for Vincent Collet’s squad, posting 22 points, 9 rebounds. Evan Fournier, who has just moved to the New York Knicks, followed with 21 points, while veteran Nicolas Batum paced the team with 15 points and 14 rebounds. France returns to the semifinals for the first time since 2000, when the nation won silver at the Sydney Olympics.
Italy recovered from a double-digit deficit in the fourth quarter, though the efforts of Simone Fontecchio (23 points) and Danilo Gallinari (21 points, 10 rebounds) weren’t enough to complete the comeback. Achille Polonara followed with 15 points for the Italian squad.
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