#FIBAOQT Manila Roundup Day 3

(Image from FIBA)
*These first appeared on FIBA.com.

France turn the tables on New Zealand

For three whole periods, France seemed but shells of their true selves, but they finally righted the ship in the fourth quarter to defeat New Zealand, 66-59, on the third day of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila.

Turning Point: New Zealand seemed to gain full control after a Corey Webster basket gave them a 50-38 lead early in the fourth quarter, but France had other plans. Les Bleus uncorked a searing 22-2 blast that obliterated the Tall Blacks’ lead and permanently swung the momentum in the French’s favor. By the time New Zealand scored again, France was in control, 60-54.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)


Stats Don't Lie: France struggled with their shooting for much of the game, but they caught fire just in time. In the final ten minutes of the game, coach Vincent Collet’s boys finally found their shooting touch, making 9-of-15 field goals, including going 3-of-3 from downtown. In the end, France outshot the Kiwis from the floor, 42% to 30%.

Game Hero: In a game where France’s biggest stars found it tough, it was a member of the supporting cast who made things happen in crunch time. Mickael Gelabale dropped 7 of his 11 points in the fourh period, helping France overhaul their sizeable deficit and complete their stirring comeback. Gelabale ended up with 11 points, 5 rebounds and 1 steal while shooting 4-of-7 from the field.

The Bottom Line: This result enabled France to avoid a Semi-Final encounter with Group A top seed Canada. This means France will be tested by Turkey, who beat Senegal earlier in the day. The Tall Blacks still advanced, but they will have a tall task trying to get past Canada.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)


HIGHLIGHTS



Turkey advance at Senegal’s expense

Turkey nailed their first win of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila and managed to advance to the Semi-Finals at the expense of valiant Senegal, 68-62.

Turning Point: Senegalese shooter Antoine Mendy hit a tough three-pointer to cut the deficit to just 53-50 with 4:31 to go, but that’s when naturalized player Ali Muhammed came alive for Turkey. Muhammed, who shot just 2-of-13 from the field entering the fourth quarter, lit the Senegalese with 15 of his 23 points coming in the final four-and-a-half minutes of the game. His timely hits effectively kept the Lions at bay till the final buzzer.

Stats Don't Lie: The athletic and aggressive Senegalese won the battle of the boards, 51-40, but this was offset by their 19 turnovers. Turkey were able to exploit these errors from Senegal, and these prevented coach Fisac’s wards from completing any late comeback.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)


Game Hero: Ali Muhammed was the goat for Turkey on opening night, missing all his field goals. He came alive in this one, though, scoring his team’s last fifteen points of the match. Muhammed finished with 23 points, 7 rebounds, 4 assists and 3 steals in a scintillating clutch performance.

The Bottom Line: Turkey avoid the upset axe and move on to face either France or New Zealand in the Semi-Finals. They will need Semih Erden and Ali Muhammed to be at their best if they are to barge into the Final. Senegal, meanwhile, have nothing to be ashamed of after another strong showing. They head back home with heads held high.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)


HIGHLIGHTS



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