France and New Zealand will face off in the final day of the 2016 FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament group stage on Thursday in Manila, Philippines. Both teams are expected to go all out, aiming to finish of top of 2016 FIBA OQT Manila leg Group B.
Experienced French veterans to take spotlight anew
France are considered strong favorites to earn the final ticket to the 2016 Rio Olympics and they proved why during their tournament opener against host Philippines. Philippines led by as much as 10 points early in the game, but France leaned on their experience and seasoned veterans to avoid a monumental upset against Gilas Pilipinas, 93-84.
Nando De Colo was unstoppable, as he finished with 27 points on top of six rebounds and two assists. Tony Parker also had a big night, as he made it look it easy throughout the game, finishing with 21 points to go along with six assists and four rebounds.
NBA veteran Boris Diaw did the dirty work, ending up with nine points, nine rebounds and six assists. Kim Tillie posted 10 points and five boards, while former NBA player Mickael Gelabale and eight points and six rebounds for France, who shot 53.7 percent from the field as a team.
New Zealand poised for an upset?
New Zealand are coming off a huge morale-boosting win in their tournament opener. The Tall Blacks broke the hearts of Filipinos on Wednesday after cruising to an 89-80 win over Gilas Pilipinas, who will not advance to the semifinals of the 2016 FIBA OQT on their home soil.
Tai Webster was brilliant all-game long, as he racked up 25 points and 11 rebounds to go along with three assists. Cory Webster also had a fair share of the spotlight with 23 points, while Isaac Fotu and Thomas Abercrombie added 17 and 13 points, respectively, for the Tall Blacks.
What is at stake in the Match?
The France-New Zealand 2016 FIBA OQT match on Thursday will determine who will top Group B, which will help them avoid a semi-final clash with Canada. The winner will face either Turkey or Senegal in the semis. Fans can catch the action on Live Basketball TV starting 9 p.m. ET, while replay and highlights will be available on this link.
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