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French Basketball Gains European Quarters

September 7, 2003

LULEA, Sweden (AP) _ Tony Parker of the champion San Antonio Spurs scored 21 points Sunday as France beat Slovenia 88-82 and joined Greece, Lithuania and Spain in the quarterfinals of the European Basketball Championships.

France finished first in Group A after its third straight win and will play in Stockholm on Wednesday against an undetermined opponent.

Parker led France in scoring for the first time after a 10-point effort against Italy the previous day. Laurent Foirest and Tariq Abdul Wahad of the Dallas Mavericks, the first Frenchman in the NBA, had 19 points each.

Ivica Jurkovic led Slovenia with 15 points at Coop Arena, where Indiana Pacers president Larry Bird was part of the sparse crowd.

At Sodertalje, Juan-Carlos Navarro scored 22 points and last year’s NBA rookie of the year Pau Gasol of the Memphis Grizzlies added 20 as Spain stayed unbeaten in Group C with a 75-67 win over defending champion Serbia-Montenegro.

Peja Stojakovic of the Sacramento Kings had 25 points for Serbia-Montenegro, which was sent to its second loss in the round-robin portion.

At Norrkoping, Lithuania beat Germany 93-71 to win Group B with a 3-0 record. Saulius Stombergas scored 28 points and Ramunas Siskauskas 19 for Lithuania. Dirk Nowitzki of the Dallas Mavericks led Germany with 19 points.

At Boras, Greece rallied from a 22-9 deficit in the first quarter to defeat Ukraine 79-73 for its third straight win and first place in Group D. Dimosthenis Ntkoudis led Greece with 21 points and Fragiskos Alvertis had 17. Artur Drozdov was Ukraine’s top scorer with 19 points.

The remaining four quarterfinal berths will be decided Monday after four elimination games.

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