China’s schedule at the 2012 London Olympics men’s basketball competition
(Prelim Round Group B)
July 29: lt to Spain 81-97 (Box scores)
July 31: Vs. Russia
Aug 2: Vs. Australia
Aug 4: Vs. Brazil
Aug 6: Vs. Great Britain
LONDON, United Kingdom (2012 London Olympics): European powerhouse Spain stepped up the gas when it was necessary and carved out a 97-81 win in a Group B game in the 2012 London Olympics men’s basketball competition on Sunday. (Box scores)
China, the reigning FIBA Asia Championship winners, managed to keep pace with their more fancied rivals for two of the four quarters, but Spain the current Eurobasket winners and the silver medalists of the 2008 Beijing Olympics, tightened the noose when push came to shove.
Click here for a collection of post-game comments from the China team.
After an evenly fought first period at the end of which Spain managed only a 19-17 lead, they stepped on the pedal outscoring China by 10 points (34-24) for a comfortable first half lead. After letting off in the third period, Spain closed the game with a powerful 28-21 finish.
Yi Jianlian (pic above), China’s only player in the NBA, was the most dominating figure on both ends of the player in individual terms returning game-highs in scoring and rebounds, but his teammates faltered to rally around him and consolidate.
Yi Jianlian had 30 points – in an impressive 13/19 shooting on the field including sinking both his attempts from behind the arc – and hauled in 15 rebounds, 7 of them off the defensive glass.
Veteran Wang Zhizhi playing his fourth Olympics added contributed a dozen points and upcoming guard Chen Jiangsu chipped in 10 points, but those contributions looked feeble and were inadequate against the marauding Spaniards.
Pau Gasol of the LA Lakers, the most accomplis