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Eurobasket 2005: France knocks out Serbia 74:71
Everything started good and Zeljko Obradovicís players have built a good 23:18 score at the end of the first quarter, but as the game was closing to and end, quarter by quarter the French have boosted up their pace and took the lead at the beginning of the last period, and ended it 71:74 in their favor with what they shortened the whole host nation to see their team in the Quarter Finals.
The Serbs chose to begin with Marko Jaric and Igor Rakocevic as the playmakers and Radmanovic and Milan Gurovic as frontmen and Zeljko Rebraca was the only center. For one minute and twenty seconds the French had a 0:4 lead but Radmanovic neutralized it with a three pointer and Marko Jaric brought the Serbs the lead 5:4. At the beginning of the fifth minute Rebraca made a fantastic dunk with both arms over Julien and it was 77 just so Jaric regains the Blues their lead and increase it with a three pointer 12:9. By the end Rakocevic scored six points, Jaric two more and Rebraca two more to make it 23:18. On the other side Antoine Rigaudeau has played his best match so far, but letís just stick to the first quarter he netted 5 pts out of what one was a three pointer, and Mickael Gelabale did the same, what kept the French in life.
Serbia & Montenegro 21 France 17
Although Obradovic started the second period with the same first five he quickly changed Rebraca with Krstic and Jaric with Avdalovic. Milan Gurovic opened the score sheet in this quarter with a nice three pointer and Dejan Bodiroga and Nenad Krstic increased the lead on 29:18 in the first two minutes. In the fourth minute Jaric made an excellent block over Gelabale from behind, and Bodiroga shortly made it 34:22 with a three pointer. The Blues captain scored three more points until the end and Radmanovic finished the quarter with a great three pointer a few seconds before the finish of the first half. French NBA ace Tony Parker started scoring in this quarter and got to 6pts out of which 4 were from a free point line. But the turn point was the entrance of 218 tall Frederic Weis who disrupted the Blues game under the basket.
Serbia & Montenegro 13 France 19
The Blues only held on to the lead in this quarter thanks to Vladimir Radmanovic who tied two three pointers as the last Serb points in this period. The remaining starters were Rakocevic, Scepanovic, Jaric and Rebraca but except Radmanovic who scored in total 8pts in this quarter nobody really done anything important, so the French won this quarter 13:19, Rigodeau was their best scorer with 7pts, Parker scored 6pts, same as Boris Diaw and Weiss made 2pts like Gelabale.
Serbia & Montenegro 14 France 20
The biggest mistake in this quarter that Obradovic made was leaving Nenad Krstic in the line up for so most of the time. The New Jersey Nets center started missing free throws and couldnít fight of the French centers. Some minute before the finish Obradovic finally placed Darko Milicic on the pitch and the youngster already had made a offensive reboundÖ but that was too late. Gurovic was missing three pointers earlier but 1 minute and 5 seconds before the end Bodiroga had hit a 3 pointer but Krstic made an offensive foul that of course didnít help the Serbs a lot and practically the match was over right then. And a second before the finish Vladimir Scepanovic missed a three pointer to level, so the score remained 71:74 for the French and thousands of people in the SPENS dome hoping to see them get to over time, were left disappointed and together with them the former Serbian aces like Aleksandar Djordjevic, Vlade, Divac, Zoran Savic, Zarko Paspalj and Predrag Danilovic.
Serbia & Montenegro: Bodiroga 10pts (21min, 2/5 for three points, 5 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 steal), Milicic 0pts (1min, 1 offensive rebound, 1 steal), Avdalovic 0pts (8min, 2 rebounds), Radmanovic 14pts (18min, 1 rebounds 4/5 for three pts), Rakocevic 11pts (36min, 1 rebound, 4 assists, 3 steals), Scepanovic 0pts (16min, 1 assist), Jaric 14pts (36min, 1 rebound, 5 assists, 5 steals), Rebraca 4pts (21min, 5 rebounds), Krstic 11pts (19min, 6 rebounds, 1 steal), Gurovic 7pts (24min, 3 rebounds, 1 assist).
France: Gelabale 12pts (29min, 2 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal), Rigaudeau 14pts (28min, 5 rebounds, 2 assists, 1 steal), Julian 6pts (18min, 5 rebounds, 1 steal, 1 block), M.Pietrus 8pts (28min, 3 rebounds, 2 blocks), Parker 13pts (23min, 1 rebound, 3 assists, 2 steals), F.Pietrus 5pts (23min, 4 rebounds), Schmitt 2pts (4min, 2 rebounds), Diaw 10pts (33min, 3 rebounds, 3 assists, 1 block), Weis 4pts (12min, 4 rebounds).
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