China's top center Wang Zhizhi, who serves for the Dallas Mavericks of America's National Basketball Association (NBA), scored 35 points and grabbed 10 rebounds to storm China to a 96-75 victory over Greece in the final game in the first round on Friday.
China, who wrapped up the round-robin matches with three wins to top Group A, is bracketed with Group E winner Canada, Group C second-placed Ukraine and Group G runner-up the Czech Republic, in the 1-16 finals second round of the men's basketball competition.
Wang, 2.14 meters, scored 12 points in straight, 5-5 in the field, to put China at 39-25 at the start of the second quarter to have the good of the game.
China's another promising center Yao Ming, a 21-year-old of 2. 25 meters, held down 17 rebounds in addition to his 19 points.
Kyritisis Alexander led Greece with 28 points when he was 8-18 in the field though the team was only 23-77.
The Greeks trailed from the very start of the game but hung around with a loosing chase, finishing the first quarter at 27-21 to the host team.
Wang's amazing successive baskets put the game out of touch in just 3:40 minutes in the second quarter before Chinese called the break at 49-30.
In the middle of the third quarter, Greece drove for a 15-5 run to come close to a 10-points deficit at 65-55 in a period when the Chinese bench players made only one basket in five minutes.
The Greeks had a good opportunity to steal the lead from the title favorites when they put up another eight straight points to get as close as 73-66 with 5:50 minutes left in the final quarter.
But Yao scored 10 points down the stretch to leave the Greeks in despair.
(Xinhua News Agency 08/25/2001)