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21/08/2017
News

Lauvergne back in action for France, as Les Bleus rock Toulouse in style

7 Joffrey Lauvergne (FRA)
7 Joffrey Lauvergne (FRA) - USA v France, 2016 Olympic Games: Tournament for Men (BRA), Rio de Janeiro - Carioca Arena 1 (Brazil), Group Phase, 14 August 2016

TOULOUSE (FIBA EuroBasket 2017) - France continued to pick up steam in a friendly tournament setting before the start of their FIBA EuroBasket 2017 adventure in Helsinki later this month.

Defeat never looked like a possibility for coach Vincent Collet's side in a four-team contest in Toulouse, with Les Bleus sweeping the field with three convincing victories in front of a passionate home crowd in Southern France.

After registering blowout wins against Belgium and Montenegro, the French side capped off the tournament with an 88-63 victory against Italy behind the yet again excellent play of Joffrey Lauvergne, who appears to be back in full swing after an injury scare earlier in the preparations.

The big man finished the evening with a game-high 20 points and 6 rebounds in just 19 minutes of action for the hosts, with Evan Fournier collecting 17 points and Thomas Heurtel finishing the evening with 11 points and 6 assists.

Marco Belinelli was the top-scorer for Italy with 15 points, Davide Pascolo had 10 points, while versatile big man Nicolo Melli chipped in with 8 points, 8 rebounds and 5 assists.

Earlier in the tournament, France inscribed an 85-60 win over Belgium and coasted past Montenegro with a 100-70 scoreline as well to lead the way with a 3-0 record, with the other three teams splitting one win apiece.

The Nikola Vucevic-led Montenegro claimed second place in Toulouse after a 78-64 victory over Belgium got them the best point differential in the three-way tie, with the Orlando Magic center scoring a game-high 17 points and grabbing 9 rebounds.

Nikola Ivanovic chipped in with 16 points on 5-of-7 shooting from the field and Filip Barovic was the only other double-digit scorer for the winners with 10 points, while Tyrese Rice made sure everyone was involved, having collected 9 points and 7 assists.

Having just recently returned from a knee injury, Sam Van Rossom looked as good as new for the third-placed Belgian Lions, collecting a team-high 14 points, as Quentin Serron and Jean Salumu tallied 10 and 9 points respectively in a losing effort.

The four teams from the tournament in Toulouse will not meet in the Group Phase of FIBA EuroBasket 2017.

France will start their campaign in Group A in Helsinki, Italy have their sights set on Group B in Tel Aviv, Montenegro will start off in Group C in Cluj-Napoca, while Belgium have been drawn to the Istanbul-based Group D.

FIBA