#FIBAOQT Manila Roundup Day 1

(Images are from FIBA)

*These first appeared on FIBA.com.

France dispose of spirited Philippines

Tony Parker’s France had to withstand a fiery start from Jayson Castro’s Philippines before notching their first win, 93-84, in the opening Group B game at the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.

Turning Point: San Antonio Spur Tony Parker bookended a 9-2 French run with a three-pointer that cut what was once a 10-point deficit to just one, 41-40, with 2:11 to go in the second quarter. That basket seemed to light a fire in the French, who went on to end the first half strong, gaining a 45-43 edge that they would never relinquish. Philippines continued to stick close, but France just wouldn’t be denied.

Stats Don't Lie: Philippine started scorching hot in this game, shooting 50% in the first quarter, but they cooled off even as France heated up through the rest of the game. In the end, coach Vincent Collet’s squad made 54% of their field goals, while Gilas Pilipinas’s shooting efficiency dropped to 41%. It also helped that France used better ball movement, which resulted in an 18-11 edge in assists.

Game Hero: Nando De Colo stamped his class in this game. The Euroleague MVP unloaded 27 points on 9-of-14 field goal shooting to lead Les Bleus. He also padded his line with 6 rebounds, 3 steals and a flawless 7-of-7 shooting from the free throw line. He scored 11 points in the third period alone, where the French put some distance between themselves and the Filipinos.

The Bottom Line: France rest on Wednesday, but they should bring return brimming with confidence in their next match, which is against New Zealand. Tony Parker and Nando De Colo will certainly be marked men in that encounter. The Philippines, meanwhile, should remain with heads held high as they put a scare in much higher ranked France, and they should ride the crest of that wave against the Tall Blacks on Day 2.


Canada’s speed too much for Turkey

Canada’s uptempo game was something that Turkey just could not handle as the former prevailed, 77-69, in the opening game for both teams at the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.

Turning Point: The second quarter proved to be fatal for the Turks as the Canadians, led by NBA point guard Cory Joseph, quickened the pace. Turkey threatened at 4:06 in the second period, cutting the deficit to just 5 points before Joseph and Tristan Thompson conspired to give Canada the first double-digit lead of the game at 39-29 with under a minute left. This permanently gave Canada the momentum, and Turkey just couldn’t fully recover.

Stats Don't Lie: Canada shot much better from the floor, making 42% of their field goals and 37% of their threes. In contrast, Turkey went ice cold from downtown, connecting on only 23% of their triples and hitting just 36% of their field goals.

Game Hero: Cory Joseph was practically unstoppable in the second and third periods for Canada. He scored a total of 19 points in those two periods, helping the Canadians dictate the tempo for the rest of the match. He totaled 21 points, 5 assists and 3 rebounds by the end of the game.

The Bottom Line: This win gives Canada the the momentum they need against Senegal on Wednesday. If Canada continues to thrive in transition and shoot well from the perimeter, they shouldn’t have much trouble against their FIBA Africa foes. On the other hand, Turkey couldn’t get a lot of things going in their favor, and they will certainly look back and hope that their bench and frontcourt could have made a bigger impact.





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