Spain defeated France in a one-sided game, 92-67 in the men’s basketball quarterfinals of the 2016 Rio Olympics. The Spaniards led early and never looked back with Nikola Mirotic and Willy Hernangomez ending up as the top scorers.
The French team contained Pau Gasol (5 points, 8 rebounds and 3 blocks) offensively but Nikola Mirotic (23 points) and Hernangomez (18 points) stepped up to lead the Spanish team that will meet Team USA in the semifinals.
Both teams battled in the first quarter when Spain had a slim 19-16 lead. However, the Spaniards started to pull away and had a double-digit, 43-30 at halftime. Spain dominated France in the second half to get the easy blowout win.
Mirotic, a forward for the Chicago Bulls, shot 9-of-15 from the field including 5 three-pointers plus 5 rebounds and 2 steals.
Meanwhile, Tony Parker, France’s long-time start point guard announced his retirement from the national team in the post-game press conference.
“The last 16 years has been great and I don’t regret one second,” Parker, who scored 14 points in his final NT game, said via FIBA.com.
“I’m obviously disappointed that we lost the game and think we could have done a lot better but Spain was just great tonight. We made a decision to stop Pau (Gasol) and (Nikola) Mirotic goes off, but that’s basketball.”
Euroleague MVP Nando de Colo had 13 points while Joffrey Lauvergne (Denver Nuggets) had 12 points and 7 rebounds.
Spain meets Team USA, which beat Argentina, 105-78 in the semifinals of the men’s basketball tournament of the 2016 Rio Olympics on Friday.
Photo courtesy: Twitter/@tonyparker