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Team China scores first win at basketball World Cup

Source:Global Times Published: 2019/9/1 0:48:06

Photo: Cui Meng/GT


China's basketball head coach Li Nan says the team should be prepared for tougher battles at the World Cup, after China eked out a 70-55 win against Côte d'Ivoire in their opening game in Beijing.

The win marks China's second victory in nine years at the sport's highest international level.

"It was a tough game, the opponents' quality defense gave us headaches in the first half," Li told reporters after the match.

The Ivorians were solid in defense in the first half, as they led narrowly 16-14 through the first quarter, before China leveled the score at 29-29.

"We need to strengthen our offense in future games if we want our journey at the World Cup to be long," Li noted.

China's offense on the perimeter was poor, as the team only drilled one three-pointer in the entire game.

Yi Jianlian led three Chinese players to reach double digits in scoring, with the star center contributing 19 points in the win.

"We prepared a lot but the game highlighted problems with our tactics," Yi said. "We need to work harder to maintain our drive."

It was point guard Guo Ailun who led China by dribbling through the Ivorians' defense, as he bagged 17 points at the Wukesong Arena, the same court that saw China finish eighth at 2008 Olympics.

"At the start we were quite nervous. We were desperate to win, which made it hard to relax," Guo told the Global Times. "We expected the opponents to be strong, they really did put us under pressure."

The 25-year-old, whom coach Li said some of the team's offensive tactics were built around, took the game as a "learning process" in the tournament, as China will host European powerhouse Poland on Monday.

Global Times



Posted in: BASKETBALL,SPORTS FOCUS

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