EuroBasket: France end Spanish dominance to book Lithuania finale
Last Updated: 21/09/13 12:13am
France ended Spain's reign as European basketball champions on Friday with a 75-72 overtime victory to book a final date with Lithuania in Slovenia.
Two-time defending champions Spain led by 14 points at half-way stage before Tony Parker added 32 points for France to set up a thrilling finale.
The match was finely-poised heading into the final stages, Marc Gasol making a jumper before Alexis Ajinca hit a free throw for France with 40 seconds left to level proceedings.
Both teams missed chances to win in regulation before Parker and Antoine Diot went on to add France's last eight points from the line in OT to keep their team in front.
Diot was the only other French player in double figures with 10 points, while Gasol led Spain with 19 points and nine rebounds alongside Rudy Fernandez, who scored 17.
Earlier in the day, Lithuania reached their first final since winning the title 10 years ago by beating Croatia 77-62.
Jonas Maciulis featured heavily for Lithuania with 23 points, while Linas Kleiza added 22 and Mantas Kalnietis had 18 as the three of them combined to outscore Croatia.
Lithuania centre Jonas Valanciunas remained resilient in defence, making five blocks, while Bojan Bogdanovic led the Croatia line with 15 points.
Lithuania went on an 18-3 run to start the third quarter, which decided the game. Maciulis scored two consecutive 3-pointers before Kalnietis added seven points.
Lithuania won the European title in 2003 and were bronze medallists at the 2010 worlds but have not graced the podium in Europe since taking bronze in 2007.