#FIBAOQT Manila Roundup Day 4

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

Canada outlast New Zealand to make OQT Final

Canada became the first team to enter the Final of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila after they outlasted a gritty New Zealand, 78-72.

Turning Point: With Canada up, 73-71, Corey Webster had two straight misses that led to a big buckets by Khem Birch and Melvin Ejim. Those baskets put the outcome beyond doubt and enabled the Road Warriors of Canada to advance. It was a sorry stretch for the Kiwis, who had their chances, but just couldn’t capitalize.

Stats Don't Lie: Rebounding was New Zealand’s strong suit entering this game, but it was Canada who imposed their will on the glass. Coach Jay Triano’s wards outworked their foes in the rebounding department, 47-42. Tristan Thompson, as can be expected, led them with 10 boards, while five other Canucks grabbed at least 5 rebounds.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)

Game Hero: This was Tristan Thompson’s best game by far this tournament. He recorded 13 points and 10 rebounds while also shooting 4-of-5 from the field and, uncharacteristically, doing well from the free throw line. He made 5-of-7 of his charity attempts. With New Zealand’s Isaac Fotu playing under 9 minutes after sustaining an early injury, Thompson practically had gone unchecked for majority of the match.

The Bottom Line: Canada move on to the Final and face either France or Turkey. The NBA duo of Cory Joseph and Tristan Thompson carried them here, but even their supporting cast put in the work. If they can duplicate that in the Final while also minimizing their turnovers, they have a good chance. New Zealand, meanwhile, gave a very good account of themselves, and they should head back home proud of how they put up a gallant stand.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)


OQT Final cast complete after France drub Turkey

France joined Canada in the Final of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Manila after they drubbed a lackluster Turkey, 75-63.

Turning Point: Turkey were still in this game at the half and early in the third period when they cut the deficit, 37-33. France, however, went on a 10-0 tear that all but broke the game open. Anchored on the exploits of Boris Diaw and Joffrey Lauvergne, Les Bleu stretched the lead to fourteen points at 47-33, and they never looked back.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)

Stats Don't Lie: France may have been outrebounded in this match, but they more than compensated for that with their efficient shooting. As a team, the French made 52% of their field goals, including netting 7 triples. France’s supporting cast also gave them a huge lift as coach Vincent Collet’s bench outscored their Turkish counterparts, 42-18.

Game Hero: Much has been said about the talent of Tony Parker and Nando De Colo, but it was Thomas Heurtel who basked in the spotlight of this affair. The playmaker who plies his trade for, ironically, Turkish club Anadolu Efes Istanbul, tallied his best stat-line so far with 17 points, 4 assists and 2 triples. His great performance is an outstanding testament to this team’s backcourt depth.

The Bottom Line: France set up what promises to be a titanic clash in the Final opposite Canada, which, like the French, have so far been unscathed. For sure, Diaw, Lauvergne, De Colo, Nicolas Batum and Tony Parker will all figure prominently in tomorrow’s Final, where only the winner will earn the last Olympic ticket. For their part, Turkey have to re-evaluate their performance and perhaps focus on the future with young guns Cedi Osman and Furkan Korkmaz at the spearhead.

(Image by Roy Afable/Hoop Nut)





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