China’s men’s basketball team has cruised into the semifinals at the East Asian Championships in Nanjing, with wins over Hong Kong and Korea. They face Japan tonight at 7:30 Beijing time.
China romped over Hong Kong 104-43, allowing only 16 points in the first half. Then they rode their height advantage and South Korea’s foul trouble to a 61-54 win Sunday. Three-point shooting was dismal for both teams — China shot 3 for 16, and South Korea 1 for 18.
The tournament, in Nanjing, is a qualifier for the FIBA Asia Championship September 15 to 25 in Wuhan. As host, China qualifies automatically. The team has an unfamiliar look right now, with several national team regulars resting and three players on the roster serving out a FIBA suspension. Zhu Fangyu (three games), Sun Yue and Zhang Bo (one game each) all were issued suspensions by FIBA for their parts in a bench-clearing brawl in a game against a Brazilian team last fall. Wang Zhizhi, Yi Jianlian, Liu Wei, Wang Shipeng, Ding Jinhui and Zhang Qingpeng are all being rested, leaving some younger players with the chance to get some more international playing experience.
As pointed out by Jon Pastuszek at Niubball.com, the chance for its starts to serve their suspensions with no real consequence for the team might be the best thing about this tournament for Team China.
Li Nan image: Osports.cn via Sohu.com
Tags: basketball, FIBA, Li Nan, Nanjing, Sun Yue, Zhang Bo, Zhu Fangyu