Tony Parker saved his best for last.
Parker made true to his vow to bring France back to the Olympics in his final run with the team as he unloaded 15 of his tournament-best 26 points as the Les Bleus completed a sweep of the Manila FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament with an 83-74 win over a young but tough Canada team.
Parker treated the huge Sunday night crowd at the Mall of Asia Arena to one of his best international games, if not the best, by taking over in the fourth period when Canada made its last stand.
After Tyler Ennis brought Canada within three, 67-64, Parker made eight straight points that gave France an eight-point breather, 75-66.
It didn’t matter that his teammate, Nando de Colo, won the MVP of the tournament as Parker repaid the rockstar treatment the Filipino fans fittingly gave him with a big game in the clincher.
“I was saving it my best for last. I made sure that I will show up when it counted the most,” Parker said after the game.
De Colo added 22 points while getting smacked in the closing seconds with Tristan Thompson’s shoulder and a hard foul by Cory Joseph.
France completed the Rio Olympics cast after Serbia and Croatia won their respective Olympic Qualifying Tournaments in Europe. – By Alder Almo
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