France survived an almighty scare to advance to the Quarter-Finals at FIBA EuroBasket 2022 as they battled past Turkey for an 87-86 triumph to open the Knockout Phase.
They were just moments away from successive Round of 16 exits at EuroBasket, but Rudy Gobert’s huge putback forced overtime, and France could prevail in the extra period as Turkey had the chance to snatch victory on the final possession.
Turning point: France established a 16-point advantage in the first half and were still 49-38 ahead in the third before an inspired 19-0 spell spanning seven minutes saw Turkey surge in front. They went back-and-forth in the final quarter as overtime ensued, and Evan Fournier hit a huge three to make it 86-83, and France held on, forcing a steal on the final possession.
TCL Player of the Game: When France needed him most, Gobert was there. Cleaning up the Fournier miss at the end of regulation and grabbing crucial offensive rebounds to finish with a double-double of 20 points and 17 rebounds in the win.
Stats don’t lie: France more than doubled their opponents with points in the paint (50-22), which was the key to their early dominance. They also had significant contributions from their bench, adding 41 points.
Bottom line: It was almost disaster for France with a second successive Round of 16 exits, but they found a way to come through a titanic tussle as they now await the winner of tomorrow’s Serbia-Italy encounter. Agonizing for Turkey, who battled back from 16 down and were a couple of seconds away from reaching the last eight. Bugrahan Tuncer starred with 20 points.