EuroBasket 2013 schedule: Semifinals begin Friday

Mark J. Rebilas-US PRESSWIRE

The semifinals begin Friday with a rematch from the 2011 EuroBasket final.

EuroBasket 2013 reaches the semifinals Friday with Spain, France, Lithuania and Croatia still vying for the championship. Action begins at 8:30 a.m. ET with Italy and Ukraine facing off in the loser's bracket before the two big semifinal games later in the morning.

Lithuania and Croatia will play the first semifinal game, tipping off at 9:45 a.m. Both teams advanced to the semifinals with victories on Thursday. Croatia has won eight straight games after a double-digit victory over Ukraine.

Croatia's Bojan Bogdanovic has had a tremendous tournament, averaging 17.1 points and 4.6 rebounds per game. Lithuania will need its NBA frontcourt of Jonas Valanciunas and Donatas Motiejunas to anchor the paint while leaning on the all-around play of point guard Mantas Kalnietis (leads team in points and assists, second in rebounds).

The final match of the day tips off at 11 a.m. and features two teams heavily favored going into the tournament as Spain and France face-off in a rematch of the 2011 EuroBasket final. Spain claimed its second straight EuroBasket title in a 95-88 victory two years ago and looks to achieve a three-peat this weekend.

Marc Gasol has led Spain in the absence of both Pau Gasol and Serge Ibaka. The reigning NBA Defensive Player of the Year is averaging 13 points and 7.7 rebounds per game, leading the team in both categories. France's Tony Parker leads all remaining scorers with 18.3 points per game on 51.8 percent shooting.

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