Boris Diaw points out young Canadian side not necessarily lacking in experience
Canada star Tristan Thompson is coming off a title run with the Cavs in the NBA. Jerome Ascano

BASED on statistics, it is going to be experience versus youth when France battles Canada for a ticket to Rio de Janeiro in the Fiba Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament.

But French captain Boris Diaw doesn't necessarily think so as he seeks to lead Les Bleus to the Olympics.

France is the oldest team in the six-team Manila OQT with an average age of 29.4 years old. The Les Bleus' opponent in Sunday's finale, Canada, happens to be the youngest squad with a 24.7 average.

"It doesn't just seem that they are younger, they are younger," Diaw quipped.

But while there is a distinct age gap, Diaw pointed out Canada is not necessarily lacking in experience, based on the many battle-hardened players in its lineup.

Tristan Thompson is fresh from a title run with the Cleveland Cavaliers in the NBA while Corey Joseph, who also played in the playoffs with the Toronto Raptors, has also won a championship ring with French star Tony Parker ad the rest of the San Antonio Spurs in 2014.

"Definitely, we will try to use experience for sure. But they are experienced players too. They have good careers so far. They played in international games. They are all experienced players. Tristan is coming from playing in the playoffs, Corey also," said Diaw.

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Joseph topscored with 20 points while Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds in Canada's 78-72 win over New Zealand that set it up for a championship match against France.

With Diaw along with Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum playing limited minutes, Thomas Heurtel had 17 points while Euroleague MVP Nando De Colo chipped in 13 as France outplayed Turkey, 75-63, in the other semifinal.

Les Bleus team captain Diaw believes the finals protagonists are equally matched and the intangibles will eventually decide the outcome.

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"We will try to use our experience. It's really going to be who wants it more and who is more focused until the end of the game," said Diaw.

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