The 2013 FIBA EuroBasket enters the last day of hoops competition with all available spots in next year's world championships already booked. However, the battle for European basketball supremacy still continues with both France and Lithuania looking to return to the top of the continent's basketball pinnacle.
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France vs. Lithuania - Gold Medal match
France returned to their straight FIBA EuroBasket Final after coming through with a gutsy performance against Spain 75-72 in Friday's semifinal showdown. Tony Parker was immense in that game, scoring 32 points on 11-for-19 shooting with six rebounds and two steals. However, it was the NBA All-Star's clutch free-throws in the overtime period that sealed the deal for the Frenchmen.
With the victory, France ended Spain's two-year reign as European championship and arranged an enticing final showdown with Lithuania, which is also fresh from a 77-62 win over Croatia on Friday.
Loaded with skillful bigmen and snipers, the Lithuanians were just too much for the Croatians, who only had Bojan Bogdanovic as their legitimate NBA-caliber player. Bogdanovic, whose rights is owned by the Brooklyn Nets, netted 15 points in a 77-62 semifinal loss. On the other hand, Lithuania is led by former NBA player Linas Kleiza (22 points and 11 rebounds) and Toronto Raptors star Jonas Valanciunas (6 points, 5 rebounds and 5 blocks). Jonas Maciulis also chalked up a team-high 23 for Lithuania, who smothered the Croatians to just 39 percent shooting from the field.
In a game loaded with talents, Spain vs. Lithuania showdown is up to give basketball fans a tasty treat in the finale of FIBA EuroBasket 2013. Lithuania's big men and outside shooting will once again create problem for the Frenchmen, whom they defeated earlier in the second round. However, Parker is once again expected to provide big numbers in this game as he looks to lead France to their first championship at EuroBasket.
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