By Johnny Askounis/ [email protected]
With the Olympic Games quarterfinals already secured, France kept going with the win, 79-62, against Iran on Saturday.
Nando De Colo went 4/4 for ten points, and also logged five rebounds and five assists in his third Tokyo appearance. Thomas Heurtel fired a team-high 16 points and Timothe Luwawu-Cabarrot put up 12 points.
After missing the two first fixtures of the preliminary round due to injury, Frank Ntilikina went for three points, four assists, and two rebounds in just under 19 minutes. Head coach Vincent Collet split playing time between his 12 players.
“To be honest, I’m not even focused on the gold medal, just the quarterfinals,” said Evan Fournier after being limited to three points in the game deprived of clinching implications, “Any team that we are going to play there will have its strengths and weaknesses, but I can’t tell you who I would prefer there because we don’t even know who going to be there.”
The European powerhouse will be heading to the next round. Sunday’s draw will paint the picture of the remaining path. Collet’s side will be among the four teams seeded for the draw as one of three group winners.
“The quarterfinal is the turning point,” pointed out the France boss, “If you win it, then you are one of the best four and with the chance of a medal. This is our goal.”
Iran eliminated prior to the France clash, finished Group A at 0-3. Hamed Haddadi posted an 18-point, 12-rebound double-double, plus five assists and three blocks in the third loss.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL
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