Friday, September 16, 2011

Spain on course to defend basketball title

Spain's Pau Gasol vies with France's Kevin Seraphin (L) during the EuroBasket 2011, second round, Group E, qualifying match between France and Spain in Vilnius on September 11, 2011.
Photograph by: JOE KLAMAR, AFP/Getty Images

Kaunas, Lithuania Spain stayed on course to retain its European championship basketball title with an impressive 86-64 win over Slovenia in the opening quarter-final on Wednesday.

Spain's semifinal opponents on Friday will be tournament upstart Macedonia, who ousted host Lithuania 67-65.

France plays Greece and Russia takes on Serbia in the other two quarter-finals on Thursday.

Juan Carlos Navarro led Spain with a game-high 26 points, Pau Gasol poured 19 and collected 16 rebounds and Jose Calderon added nine points.

Bo McCalebb, a 26-year-old from New Orleans who had a Macedonian passport, led his club again with 23 points.

Vlado Ilievski scored the winning basket on a putback with less than 10 seconds left.

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