FIBA World Cup: France, China win classification games

Photo Credit -- FIBA

With the four semifinal participants of the 2018 FIBA World Cup in Tenerife, Spain determined, the four teams that were eliminated in the quarterfinal round went on to play classification matches to determine which squads would be classified as finishing fifth through eighth.

While one through four will be between those four semifinal teams, the teams from France and China made sure that they will be just below those four when the final placements are revealed.

France vs. Nigeria

For about one quarter or so in its matchup against Team USA, it appeared as if D’Tigress would be participating in the latter half of Saturday’s games instead of the former.

Nigeria had an early lead against a United States team that was struggling from the field before opening things up in the second half en route to its 71-40 win over D’Tigress.

While D’Tigress’ performance in this year’s FIBA World Cup had caused quite the buzz in its home country, all good things must come to an end.

That saying rang true when France defeated Nigeria, 84-62 in its classification game.

A huge difference for France was outscoring D’Tigress 23-10 in the third quarter as well as outscoring Nigeria 22-14 in the second. That is 45-24 over two frames, virtually France’s margin of victory.

France went 30-16 in out-assisting Nigeria, had 12 more points in the paint than Nigeria, and had 25 more bench points than D’Tigress.

Helena Ciak had 16 points off the bench and Sandrine Gruda added 15. Both Ciak and Gruda each had five rebounds as well. Sarah Michel scored 12 points and Diandra Tchatchouang finished with 10. Olivia Epoupa also contributed six assists.

Adaora Elonu scored 15 points and pulled in five rebounds. Atonye Nyingifa scored 12 and Promise Amukamara scored 10.

Canada vs. China

This one could be classified as the classic tale of two halves.

In the majority of games that take on this theme, it can normally be the team that does better in the latter of those two halves that wins the game.

Canada had suffered defeat in its quarterfinal matchup against Spain in what can be termed as heartbreaking fashion as Canada only scored three points in the fourth quarter after assuming a three-point lead heading into the fourth.

Despite a 14-point lead at halftime, Canada still suffered defeat again, this time to China with the result being 76-71.

Canada’s lead at the half was 48-34.

While Canada’s fourth quarter struggles were not as glaring as was the case against Spain, the team still was held to single digits in the final frame. China won the fourth quarter 18-9 en route to winning the game.

But China began blazing its comeback trail in the third quarter when it outscored Canada 24-14. China also shot 46 percent from behind the arc. It also only committed one more turnover than Canada, but got 19 points off of turnovers. China also got 17 points in transition to only three for Canada.

Meng Li had 18 points and Xu Han added 12 to go along with nine rebounds. Shao Ting also pulled in five rebounds and gave out six assists. Yuan Li also had six assists of her own.

Kia Nurse finished with 18 points. Natalie Achonwa had 13 points with seven rebounds and Jamie Scott added 10 off the bench with five rebounds

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