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Turkey beat China to meet Australia in Stankovic Cup final
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Turkey outplayed China 81-79 at overtime on Sunday and will meet Australia in the final of the 5th FIBA Stankovic Basketball Continental Cup for Men, in Kunshan, China's Jiangsu province.

The unbeaten Australians, who came back to edge out China in the preliminary competition Saturday, beat defending champion Angola 70-60 early Sunday.

China could have finished the game with a win but Liu Wei missed two of free throws before Turkey's Sonkol Umit tied the scoring 69-69 to force the game into overtime.

The host still led 79-76 with less than one minute left but Turkey leveled it through Yapar Hakan behind the arc. Then Akpinar Mutlu scored a 5 meters shot at the last second to clinch the victory.

China trailed by two points in the first quarter, marred by 4-for-14 poor field goal. Zhang Qingpeng, off the bench, led the Chinese to an 11-4 run, helping the host up to a 25-20 lead. Zhang scored seven consecutive points including a 3-pointer during that span.

Leading 35-30 at halftime, China kept the advantage narrowly, which was trimmed to two points before Sun Yue hit a 3-pointer to finish the third period.

China pulled away to 63-54, the biggest lead in the game, thanks to Zhou Peng's 3-pointers. But Turkey trimmed the deficit to one with a 10-2 run with 2:50 minutes to play in the fourth quarter.

Zhang Qingpeng's lay-up and Wang Zhizhi's two free-throws extend China's lead to 69-64 with one minute remaining. Then the opponent team scored two on the official line. The missed free throws by Liu Wei gave Turkey the chance of coming back.

Cakanya Yunus led Turkey with a game-high 23 points while young player Zhou Peng was China's top scorer with 16 points.

Earlier, Australia managed to avoid the fate of defeat. The winless Angola led at halftime, 31-29, and remained ahead after the third period, 46-48. However Australia used a tightened defense and strong rebounds to regain their powerful offense in the final period.

Angola will play against China for third place while Australia and Turkey meet for the title on Monday.

(Xinhua News Agency August 31, 2009)

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