FIBA EuroBasket Semifinal is now all down to perhaps the most-anticipated match-up in this tournament. On early Saturday morning (3:00 a.m), Spain and France will collide for the final spot in the gold medal match on Sunday.
FIBA EuroBasket 2013 Spain vs. France
Spain vs. France - Semifinal
In a rematch of the FIBA EuroBasket 2011, two-time defending champion Spain will take on the equally loaded French men's basketball team at Arena Stožice in Ljubljana, Slovenia. Espana will be backstopped by NBA All-Star Marc Gasol, promising point guard Ricky Rubio, veteran point guard Jose Calderon and former NBA hotshot Rudy Fernandez in what could be the biggest match in EuroBasket 2013.
On the other hand, France will be leaning on former NBA Finals MVP Tony Parker, Portland Trail Blazers forward Nicolas Batum, and former Most Improved Player of the Year Boris Diaw.
In a battle of two basketball superpowers, one team is going to give down the stretch. Spain, the most defensively efficient team in the tournament, is expected to smoother the Frenchmen with different defensive plays and stifling full-court press. Gasol, the reigning NBA defensive player of the year, is also expected to protect the rim at all cost against France's bevy of slashers and big men.
"France is a very physical team, they play at the limit always, with great intensity. Offence against them is complicated and we need to stay calm at the start, maintain the high level of defence we have shown throughout this championship and try to take them out of their usual game so to create problems for them," Spain's enforcer Sergio Rodriguez said during the pre-game press conference.
France, meanwhile, is looking to end their four-game losing skid against the Spaniards after losing to them in the finals of EuroBasket 2011, the quarterfinals of the London Olympics and a couple of warm-up events before the tourney.
"Spain are the favourites and I am not just saying that to take pressure off our backs, it's a fact. Quite simply, they are the reigning European champions and we have lost to them every time in the last years," said Batum.
FIBA EuroBasket Semifinals Live Stream Information
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