France, Canada face off for the last remaining spot in Rio Olympics
Boris Diaw believes the age gap would not be a big factor in the match between France and Canada. Jerome Ascano

IT’s experience versus youth as France battles Canada for a spot in Rio in the Fiba Manila Olympic Qualifying Tournament on Sunday at MOA Arena.

France is the oldest team in the six-team Manila OQT with an average age of 29.4 years old, while Canada is the youngest squad at 24.7.

While there is a big age difference, France captain Boris Diaw said Canada is an equally experienced team in terms of domestic and international play.

[See One spot left as Serbia, Croatia book trips to Rio Olympics]

Tristan Thompson is fresh from a campaign with the Cleveland Cavaliers, who won the NBA title against the Golden State Warriors. Corey Joseph also played in the playoffs with the Toronto Raptors and had won a championship ring with 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.

[See France gets past Turkey to arrange OQT finale with Canada for berth in Rio Olympics]

Joseph led Canada with 20 points, while Thompson had 13 points and 10 rebounds in the semifinal win over New Zealand.

With Diaw, Tony Parker and Nicolas Batum playing limited minutes, Thomas Heurtel had 17 points, while Euroleague Most Valuable Player Nando De Colo chipped in 13 as France outplayed Turkey in the other semifinal.

"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.

[See Canada makes finals of FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament with hard-earned win over gutsy New Zealand]

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