China, in their game to compete for the third place of the Stankovic Continental Champions Cup, lost to Australia 58-71 Sunday afternoon in Beijing.
China's captain Li Nan was on the starting roster for their last game of the tournament. A jumper from #15 Wade Helliwell of Australia open the scoring. China's players were frozen by Australia's man-to-man defense and only scored 4 points with 4:00 to end the first quarter.
Australia started the second period 18-11 and continued to dominate the under-ring play. They built a 10-point lead with 6:30 remaining in the second quarter. Mo Ke and Liu Wei sandwiched a banked shot by Yi Jianlian with two 3-pointers to cut China's deficit to 2 points with over 2 minutes left. But Yi was soon baited into his third personal foul and was substituted by Tang Zhengdong. Australia ended the first half 37-30. Mo Ke scored 9 points and Mark Worthington of Australia had 13 points.
Australia extended their lead to 45-31 with 7:20 left in the third quarter. Li Nan drained three 3-pointers and helped China to narrow the deficit to 5 points later. But Tang Zhengdong's consecutive unforced errors depressed the China's team again. Australia took the opportunity to end the third quarter 57-46.
Li Nan sunk his fourth 3-pointer to open the last period. But other Chinese players still suffered from a low field-goal percentage. Australia maintained their lead and finally won the game 71-58.
(China.org.cn by staff reporter Li Xiao, July 31, 2005)