Small forward Zhu Fangyu scored a team-high of 15 points with 4 rebounds and 3 steals to help China edge out African champions Angola 62-61 in their first game on Tuesday at the Capital Stadium.
The Angolan's team arrived in Beijing just several hours before the match with China and they had to cancel the warm-up training.
Asian champion China, cheered on by a loud home crowd, used their height advantage to start the game with a 10-2 run. But the 3-pointer from Olimpio Cipriano of Angola closed the gap to 13-12. Substitute point guard Zhang Yunsong and forward Wang Shipeng still couldn't help China to break through Angola's strong defense system. China led 17-13 after the first period.
Starting as shooting guard in place of Li Nan, who is suffering from a knee injury, Zhang Jinsong won 11 points, with 1 steal as well as 3 rebounds. China narrowly outscored Angola 13-11 in the second quarter.
After the half time break, the Chinese players suffered a seesaw period as they were troubled by a low shooting percentage. Guangdong players Zhu Fangyu, Du Feng, Yi Jianlian and Wang Shipeng came good later and China led 45-41.
Angola almost won the game 61-59 with less than one minute to go. Zhu Fangyu was fouled and hit the ensuing free throws to seal the victory for China.
Starting center Yi Jianlian snatched down 12 points and 6 rebounds. Liu Wei contributed 9 points.
China's starting lineup:
Liu Wei, Zhang Jinsong, Zhu Fangyu, Mo Ke, Yi Jianlian
Angola's starting lineup:
MIGUEL LUTONDA、OLIMPIO CIPRIANO、EDUARDO MINGAS、JOAQUIM GOMES、CARLOS ALMEIDA
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Xiao, July 26, 2005)