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Chinese media hail victory of men's basketball team
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Chinese media gave credits to the national men's basketball team, which entered the quarterfinals after seeing off Germany 59-55 on Saturday, with Yao Ming and Yi Jianlian received the most praises.

More than 15,000 website viewers left their comments on the game report at the sina.com.cn overnight, most of them sang high of the success of the men's team.

"This is not the first time China qualified into the top eight at the Olympics, but it's definitely the best time to show excellent team work and strong mentality of the national team," said the News Morning Post.

China held off a 14-2 surge-up from the Germans down the stretch to seal a berth in the quarter-finals, thanks to a 15-foot jumper of Yi Jianlian with 28.1 seconds to go to put China ahead by 58-55.

"The NBA made Yao and Yi to be mature. The Olympics made them as men. They played for the honor of the country and the team. They conquered the obstacles. They stood still. They were the backbone of the Chinese men's basketball," reported the Xi'an Evening News in Shaanxi Province on Sunday.

Yao, who will playing his sixth season with the Houston Rockets in 2008-09 season, and Yi, who will serve the New Jersey Nets next season after a rookie year with the Milwaukee Bucks, had 25 points and nine respectively, as well as 11 rebounds each on Saturday night.

"China beat Germany with the power of their hearts. They surpassed their opponents. They also surpassed themselves," the Yanzhao Metropolitan News in Hebei Province said on Saturday's match.

"It's a real-life version of the Mission Impossible, and China made it possible at the Wukesong Indoor Stadium Saturday. Yao, Yi and Sun Yue stunned Germany in the most unbelievable way. Dream is becoming true," Liaoshen Evening News reported.

Most of the reports said Chinese captain Li Nan walked out of the court with the basketball of the match. "I will keep this ball as a souvenir," Li was quoted as saying.

Yi said on his blog, "We broke through in the Death Group. I don't know what to say at this moment. I can only use exclamation marks to express my feeling." He used five exclamation marks.

"Report to the entire Chinese people, WE MADE IT!" Yao Ming said through an late-night interview with Titan (sports) Weekly.

(Xinhua News Agency August 17, 2008)

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