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El Tri Francais France clinch third place at FIBA Basketball World Cup

France rounded off a fine tournament by edging Lithuania 95-93 in a thrilling third-placed play-off at the FIBA Basketball World Cup.

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In what was a repeat of the 2013 Eurobasket final, it was France who once again triumphed to clinch the bronze medal in Madrid on Saturday.

France, who entered the tournament without star man Tony Parker of the San Antonio Spurs, suffered an agonising defeat to Serbia in the semi-finals.

However, Vincent Collet's men can leave with their heads held high after a superb World Cup that included a quarter-final victory over hosts Spain, a fourth-quarter burst proving crucial against Lithuania.

The closeness of the scoreline was matched by each side's top scorer, Portland Timbers small forward Nicolas Batum leading the way for France with 27 points, while Jonas Valanciunas starred for Lithuania with 25.

There was very little to separate the teams in the first two quarters, as France held a narrow 43-42 victory at half-time.

Lithuania - who claimed third at the 2010 tournament - swung the momentum in their favour by outscoring their opponents 29-21 in the third to seemingly take control.

But France were not to be outdone and they came out firing for the final period and a 31-22 fourth-quarter margin guided them over the line.

The contest ended in a somewhat scrappy nature as a series of fouls were drawn to bring up a host of free-throws, but it mattered little to France, who finish on the podium for the first time in their history.

The competition will now reach a climax on Sunday when defending champions Team USA - who beat Lithuania in the semi-finals - meet Serbia.

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