Nanjing—Behind 21 points from Yao Ming（姚明) and a strong performance from point guard Liu Wei（刘炜), China beat Angola 83-74 in the first game of the FIBA Diamond Ball basketball tournament Tuesday night.
Liu Wei passed out six assists, grabbed five rebounds (the same number as Yao) and had 18 points, including a key three pointer to put China up by six with about three minutes left. Wang Shipeng （王仕鹏）was the team’s next leading scorer with 13. China’s other NBA player, Yi Jianlian（易建联), had just 11 points and 6 rebounds.
After a slow start that had them down 18-10 in the first quarter, China took the lead for the first time in the second half but didn’t have the game in hand until the last minute. China still struggles with Angola’s quick ball movement and an active defense that often makes it tough for China to pound the ball in to Yao and Yi. The teams are 1-1 in their two meetings this summer; they play again August 14, in a preliminary round game.
China plays Australia at 4:00 this afternoon.
Link: FIBA game report
Tags: Angola, basketball, Liu Wei, Wang Shipeng, Yao Ming, Yi Jianlian