France, Russia advance to meet in semifinals

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Ioannis Bourousis, who finished with 17 points and 11 rebounds, kept Greece in the game until Nicolas Batum, the Portland Trail Blazers small forward, made two straight baskets with a block in between to make it a six-point game with just over a minute to go.

A pair of free throws by Nikolaos Zisis gave Greece some hope. After Parker and center Joakim Noah missed shots, Greece lost the ball and fouled Nando de Colo, who made both free throws. Noah then stole the ball, was fouled and made both free throws. De Colo finished with 16 points and Batum added 15.

“They really broke our rhythm at the start. They pretty much put us to sleep,” Parker said. “But we got into the third quarter well and we never doubted that we would win.”

The two finalists of this tournament will clinch slots at next year’s Olympics in London. The next four teams will go to an additional qualifying tournament next year, with three advancing to the games.

The semifinalists are certain of at least a place in the qualifying tournament.

“This was our first goal, now we want to go straight to the Olympics,” France coach Vincent Collet said.

Greece coach Ilias Zouros said his team ultimately paid the price for being less experienced.

“When you don’t score you have to stop them quickly and we didn’t do that even though we had few team fouls,” Zouros said.

Greece and Serbia will play for a place in the top six. The winner will play Lithuania for fifth place. Lithuania beat Slovenia 80-77.

Copyright 2014 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

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