China lost to Lithuania 66-68 in their second round-robin game of the Stankovic Continental Champions Cup at the Capital Stadium in Beijing on Wednesday. Captain Li Nan, center Yao Ming, and power forward Du Feng were on the DNP roster.
Starting guard Liu Wei topped China with 14 points. Mo Ke scored 13 with 7 rebounds. Zhu Fangyu contributed 9 points. Yi Jianlian and Wang Shipeng had 8 apiece.
Martynas Andriukaitis of Lithuania scored the game-high of 17 points with 14 rebounds.
Center Yi Jianlian drilled a jumper for China to open the scoring but was baited into early foul trouble due to the aggressive man-to-man defence by the Lithuanian. Substitute center Tang Zhengdong's performance could hardly show he was the MVP of the CBA regular season. China led 18-17 after the first quarter.
At the beginning of the second period, Zhang Yunsong, point guard of the Beijing Ducks, replaced Liu Wei in an effort to better control the pace. For the first time, power forward Mo Ke played as center for the national team. China's zone defense became relaxed due to a lack of stamina. The Lithuanians had 10 points with China scoreless in the following several minutes. Lithuania took a 5-point lead at the end of the second quarter, 37-32.
Lithuania extended their lead to finish the third quarter 52-41.
Great performances from bench players Sun Yue, Wang Shipeng and Wang Bo helped China to rally in the final quarter. The Chinese successfully tied the score at 66-66 when Zhu Fangyu shot the free throws in the last minute. But Liu Wei's last-second air ball ruined China's hope.
The last official game between China and Lithuania was in 2004 when Lithuania routed China 95-75 at the Athens Games.
China's starting lineup:
Liu Wei, Zhang Jinsong, Zhu Fangyu, Mo Ke, Yi Jianlian
Lithuania's starting lineup:
Mindaugas Lukauskis, Giedrius Gustas, Saulius Kuzminskas, Martynas Andriukaitis
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Xiao, July 27, 2005)