LONDON, United Kingdom (2012 London Olympics): China lost their opening game in the Group B Prelim Round of the 2012 London Olympics men’s basketball competition against 2008 Beijing Olympics silver medalists Spain on Sunday, but the mood in the camp was one of optimism. Game report.
Yi Jianlian (pic above), currently the only Chinese player in the NBA, scored 30 points and collected a dozen rebounds both game-highs, but he chose to play down his individual achievement.
“I tried to give everything I have as the team leader,” the Dallas Mavericks center said.
“I didn't care much about my performance. I cared about the whole team and the outcome. I didn't play well in the first quarter as I fell into foul trouble. But we kept on and cut the lead as much as we could until the last quarter. Spain is a good team, maybe the best in the world,” said the 25-year-old.
“We gave Spain a scare, but couldn't close them out. I am proud of our players. We must keep working and find a way to get better,” said China coach Bob Donewald Jr.
Guard Wang Shipeng said. “We lost because we were really tired in the fourth quarter. Spain's bench depth is so deep that we faced a whole bunch of 12 players until the end of the game.”
“We lost the first game to a very good team. But we have to maintain the momentum and stay focused. We have to keep faith in ourselves and prepare for the future games,” said Yi Jianlian.
“I thought we did very well in the first period,” said point guard Chen Jianghua. “But we failed to build on it.”
“The way we played against Spain, despite the defeat, has boosted our confidence,” said forward Zhou Peng. “We’ll certainly get better from here.”
Forward Ding Jinhui added: “We have to forget the result of the defeat and the take the positives from the game and move on. We have to prepare well for the game against Russia (on Tuesday).”