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China Win 4th Consecutive Asian Basketball Championship

China defeated Lebanon 77-61 in the 23rd Asian Basketball Championships for men on Friday to win their fourth-consecutive title of the tournament.


Superstar Yao Ming from the Houston Rockets collected 24 points, 14 rebounds and seven blocks to power the way for China to pocket the 14th-time championship in Asia since it took part in the tournament in 1975.


Qatar ousted South Korea 89-77 to win the bronze medal, joining China and Lebanon to claim the berths for next year's World Championships in Japan.


"The title proves China is the undisputed No.1 in Asia. I'm very glad to see the new generation of Chinese basketball has grown up and shows its power in this tournament," said Jonas Kaslauskas, head coach of the Chinese team.


Veteran guards Li Nan had 18 points, while newcomers Du Feng and Zhu Fangyu having 10 and 13 apiece.


Yao had 12 points in the decisive fourth quarter, including six points in row over one minute to give China a 75-59 lead with 33:40 seconds to go.


Lebanon, who lost to China 87-74 in the second round, never led in the game, but closed the game by four points several times in the third quarter.


El Khatib led Lebanon with 24 points while Joseph Vogel scoring 18.


"We were a little bit loose and lost some concentration at the beginning. But we picked up our game and they (Lebanese) had no chance," Yao said.


In the bronze-medal finals, Qatar beat the aging South Koreans with a 10-2 run midway in the fourth quarter after they were tied at 67-67 and ran for the third place for the second time in straight.


Six of the Qatar's squad had double-digital numbers with Daoud Mosa Daoud leading by 18 points.


The tournament opened in Doha, Qatar on September 8.



(Xinhua News Agency September 17, 2005)

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