Tony Parker, France beat Canada to complete Olympic basketball field

Tony Parker

Tony Parker and France will round out the 12-team Olympic men’s basketball field after beating Canada 83-74 in the final of a last-chance qualifying tournament Sunday.

The San Antonio Spurs point guard scored a game-high 26 points in Manila, including 15 in the last seven minutes to extend a five-point lead.

Parker could headline a French roster in Rio with enough NBA talent to contend for a medal. Nicolas Batum and Boris Diaw also helped France qualify this past week, and Rudy Gobert and Evan Fournier could join them at the Olympics.

Canada failed to qualify for Rio. Its best player, Andrew Wiggins, skipped the last-chance Olympic qualifier, where Canada was bidding to make its first Games since it had Steve Nash in 2000.

Parker led France at the 2012 Olympics with 15.7 points per game. The French lost two games in London, to the gold medalist U.S. in group play and silver medalist Spain in the quarterfinals.

In September, Parker and France fell in the EuroBasket semifinals to Spain in a winner-goes-to-Rio game.

The defeat forced France to the last-chance, winner-take-all, six-team Olympic qualifying tournament in the Philippines.

The Olympic men’s basketball field includes all but one of the 2012 Olympic quarterfinalists (bronze medalist Russia failed to qualify):

Brazil — Host nation
U.S. — 2014 World champion
Australia — Oceania champion
Nigeria — Africa champion
Argentina — Americas finalist
Venezuela — Americas finalist
Spain — Europe finalist
Lithuania — Europe finalist
China — Asia champion
Croatia — Last-chance qualifier
Serbia — Last-chance qualifier
France — Last chance qualifier

The U.S. is grouped with France, Serbia, Australia, China and Venezuela. The top four teams reach the quarterfinals.

Here’s the U.S. men’s group schedule:

Saturday, Aug. 6 vs. China – 6 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 8 vs. Venezuela – 6 p.m. ET
Wednesday, Aug. 10 vs. Australia – 6 p.m. ET
Friday, Aug. 12 vs. Serbia – 6 p.m. ET
Monday, Aug. 14 vs. France – 1:15 p.m. ET

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