|8||L. JIN||Did not play|
|10||Z. ZHANG||Did not play|
|13||W. SU||Did not play|
|Min||Minutes played||Tot||Total rebounds||BS||Block Shots|
|%||Shooting percentage||PF||Personal fouls||*||Starters|
ANKARA (2010 FIBA World Championship) – Greece used a three-point shooting barrage to take a comfortable lead early on but were made to fight hard in the second half to edge out China
Ioannis Bourousis hit two attempts from beyond the arc for a 14-5 advantage and the Greeks had their first double-digit lead, 23-12, on Nikos Zisis’ three-point play with three minutes left in the first quarter.
Good ball movement led to timely baskets for Jonas Kazlauskas’s side as they cut short China’s runs in the second period.
Bob Donewald Jr’s charges got within seven several times before heading into the break down 47-37.
Zisis and Dimitris Diamantidis combined for three three-pointers early in the second half as Greece built a 56-43 cushion.
China then used a 12-2 run – capped off by a thunderous dunk by Sun Yue – to get within 58-55.
The Greeks recovered to go up 65-56 before Wang Zhizhi scored six straight points that cut the deficit to 65-62 heading into the final quarter.
Yi Jianlian gave China their first lead, 66-65, with eight minutes left to play but their defense then let them down as they failed to rotate and Greece pulled away 81-73.
Zhizhi and Yue hit three-pointers that got China within 81-79 but they cooled off and the Greeks held on.
Afterwards Kostas Tsartsaris, who scored six points and six rebounds in the win, visited with FIBATV.Com.
Jonas Kazlauskas (Greece head coach): China played well and we were not so good. After bad preparation games and suspension of our two important players, we could not play good. If we had Antonios Fotsis and Sofoklis Schortsanitis, we could have better shooting percentage and we could find more baskets at zone. We did simple mistakes and we did not help each other on defense and on offense we hesitated to shoot. In the end I am happy to win and waiting for the second match.”
Nicos Zisis (Greece guard): “It is good to win for us. Every game is important and I am glad to start with a victory to FIBA World Championship but actually we let China score easily. This was our mistakes and we knew that we could play better and we should play better. We have to play 40 minutes like we played at the end of the match.”
Bob Donewald Jr (China head coach): “We fought hard. We kept the battle going. We tried to make Diamantidis shoot from the perimeter as much as possible. They missed some rebounds and we missed some points. I think we played with good purpose but we weren’t able to win. We are a young team. Young teams keep their head up, bounce back and make mistakes. As you saw we had some good moments and some bad moments at the game. Yi had a great performance. He gave us all we asked from him.”
Sun Yue (China guard): “First of all I feel a little bad about this game because we lost even though it was a very close game. We now need to forget about this game and get ready for the others. We have an important game tomorrow too so we will get ready for tomorrow.”
IZMIR (FIBA World Championship) - A disciplined 24-13 final quarter and the brilliance of stalwart Fadi El Khatib have delivered an emotional 81-71 victory over Canada in Izmir, which they celebrated with their vocal fans.
For much of the game Canada looked the better team, but a stunning second half display by El Khatib (31 points, 8 rebounds) and strong support from point guard Rony Fahed (17 points) and Matt Freije (12 points, 4/7 three pointers) allowed Lebanon to record their come-from-behind victory.
For Canada, Joel Anthony was a force inside with 17 points and 6 rebounds, and received support from Andy Rautins (10 points), Denham Brown (13 points) and Levon Kendall (11 rebounds).
Crucially, Lebanon restricted Anthony and Rautins, who were dominant in the first half, to just two field goal attempts in the final quarter.
Both teams promised to play quick and in the first quarter they delivered, thrilling the large crowd in Izmir. Rautins nailed two big three pointers early, which were answered in kind by Lebanon big man Matt Freije.
Canada broke free after quarter time and consecutive Anthony baskets gave them a 30-25 lead. But Lebanon answered to draw even to set the trend for the next two quarters.
Canada started the third term with a 7-1 run, but Lebanon answered immediately through back-to-back threes from El Khatib and Fahed, who visited with FIBATV.Com after the game.
Canada then responded with two of their own to take a 52-44 lead with 4:45 to play, but El Khatib would not let his team lie down, scoring at will near the basket on his way to 16 points for the quarter to bring Lebanon within one.
The last quarter was all Lebanon, who executed in the half court and coolly converted important free throws, leaving Canada coach Leo Rautins to lament his team shooting 2/9 from the perimeter in the final term and a 26-11 foul count.
Lebanon faces France tomorrow at 6:30pm, while Canada will regroup to take on Lithuania at 4pm.
Ali Mamoud (Player) : We had prepared very well physically and psychologically. We concentrated on the game. All victories are important for us, there has been four years since our last good performance but every victory has a different importance for us.
Tab Baldwin (Coach): We are happy. People don’t expect anything from teams like Lebanon. Basketball is universal sport and there are important players all over the world. Canada was a hard team. Fadi El Khatib played very well in the World and Asia Championships, he believes in himself and he is playing very well.
We defeated France four years ago. There are so many injured players but they are one of the best teams in the world. We will play our best against France.
Leo Rautins (Coach): It was a hard game for us. There were differences between two teams. We made so many turnovers. Lebanon scored so many points from free-throws. But now we will focus on tomorrow’s game. Lithuania is a good team. We need to be more aggressive.