Australia beat China in basketball warm-up tie

July 31st, 2008 - 7:39 pm ICT by IANS  

Nanjing (East China), July 31 (Xinhua) Australia emerged a superior team as they beat China 67-55 at the Diamond Cup men’s basketball tournament here. Chris Anstey led Australia by 11 points and David Andersen added 10 in the warm-up game, which was marred by minor brawls.

Houston Rockets’ centre Yao Ming had the game-high 14 points and seven rebounds for China, while Li Nan added 11.

Neither team had a fluid shooting match but Australia took the advantage of 25 turnovers from China, scoring 10 points on fast breaks when China had none.

“We didn’t give our best. Australians’ defence troubled us a lot. But I think it was a good game. It has helped us to be more prepared for the Olympics,” guard Zhang Qingpeng said.

China started without top scorer Zhu Fangyu, and starting point guard Liu Wei was taken off as he collided with Australia’s centre Anstey toward the end of the first quarter.

Liu was taken to hospital right after the collision. “We will know about his injury once we go back to the hotel,” China’s head coach Jonas Kaslauskas said.

Anstey, from Melbourne Tigers, scored six straight points to give Australia a 20-13 lead in the first quarter.

China shot badly in the field, 8-out-of-24, to let Australia open a 38-28 lead in the first half.

Teams battled in every corner on the court as they scored eight points in total half way into the third quarter before Australia maintained a 55-45 lead in the end.

Du Feng’s two free throws made it 55-49 in the fourth quarter, but China failed to capitalise on two fouls to close the gap.

China shot 15-out-of-45 in the field, the worst among its 14 warm-ups this summer. Yao had four fouls and five turnovers in the game.

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