France will take on Argentina in the second semi-final of the FIBA World Cup in Beijing on Friday.
France faced the USA in the quarter-final, and the Americans were the favorites to go through. But France pulled off an 89-79 win to reach the semi-finals themselves. Rudy Gobert was the key player for France as he had 21 points and 16 rebounds in the game. He also had three blocks and topped the efficiency chart among all players. Evan Fournier also had a strong game with 22 points and 4 assists.
Fournier has been the leading scorer for France in China. The Orlando Magic guard has averaged 21.0 points per game. Along with Fournier, Nando De Colo and Gobert are also into double digits in terms of points. Fournier also leads the side in assists. Gobert adds a defensive shield for France like none other, and he has averaged 9.7 rebounds per game. His efficiency rating is 22.8, which is the highest in the France squad. De Colo has also had an impressive tournament as he has averaged 17.0 points per game.
France have suffered just one defeat in China so far, which came against Australia in the second round. Fournier scored 31 points in the game, but his side fell to a 100-98 loss. Ranked third in the world, France have a great chance to win their first World Cup. Their best finish at this tournament came in 2014 when they finished third.
Argentina will stand in their way in the semi-final, who have been unbeaten so far in China. They overcame a strong Serbia side in the quarter-final to reach this stage. Argentina were leading by just one point after three quarters, but they outscored Serbia 29-20 in the final period to claim a 97-87 win. Luis Scola scored top-scored for Argentina in the game with 20 points.
The veteran has led his side in scoring so far. He has averaged 17.8 points per game, more than any of his teammates. The former NBA player is now 39, but he is still going strong at the top level. Facundo Campazzo and Gabriel Deck have averaged 17.8 and 12.3 points respectively for Argentina. Scola leads in the rebounds, with 7.3 per game. Campazzo has had eight assists per game, and he tops the efficiency ratings for the Argentina squad.
Argentina won the FIBA World Cup at in their first attempt in 1950, but they have failed to win it since. They made a run to the final in 2002 but were unable to close it out. Argentina finished 11th in the last edition, and this year has already seen an improvement upon that performance.
Argentina vs France Betting Tips
France will go into the tie as the favorites to beat Argentina and progress to the final. They have a more balanced and experienced squad and a defensive linchpin in the form of Rudy Gobert. It will be a low-scoring game, and the point differential will be less than ten points.