Britain beats China for its first Olympic basketball win

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Host team Britain beat China 90-58 in their last group match on Monday. China failed to seize a win at London and finished at 0-5. [Meng Yongmin/Xinhua]

This is a match between world's 10th and 43rd ranked. And the 43rd ranked thrashed its opponent. This is a match between a team that hasn't missed the Olympics since 1984 and a team only played once in 1948. And the latter one created history.

Host team Britain beat China 90-58 in their last group match which was their first-ever victory in basketball event of Olympic Games here on Monday.

Britain basketball team made its debut at 1948 London Games but finished 0-5. Finally they seized their first victory by beating the Asian champion.

China, who reached the quarterfinals at 2008 Beijing Games, failed to seize a win at London and finished at 0-5. It tied their worst record at Olympics, which was also 0-5 at the 1992 Barcelona Games.

The British only had two turnovers in the first half while China took eight. Kieron Achara scored 11 of his 16 points in the first quarter to lead Britain, in which the host team built a 12 points lead at 27-15.

China stumbled in both sides of offence and defence and just could not catch up with Britain. Britain enlarged their lead to 15 points by halftime while their leading scorer and only NBA player Loul Deng didn't play much time in the second quarter.

Achara led Britian with 16 points and five British players reached double figures while China only ha two. Wang Zhizhi had a match-high 11. China has 15 turnovers while Britain only had 5 and made 13 three-pointers.

Extending their lead to 24 points by the end of the third quarter, the British are ready to celebrate their first ever Olympic victory. They qualified for the London Games as the host nation. It was the first basketball victory of any sort for Britain after the women went winless through the preliminary round and the men went winless in 1948, including a 54-25 loss to China.

"My players were very eager to win before the match and they did really a good job to win," said Chris Finch, head coach of Britain. "We are so proud to create the history and I think this victory will prompt the development of basketball in Britain."

The loss saw Chinese veterans say goodbye to their last Olympics.

"I tried my best in the last game of my last Olympic Games," said Wang Zhizhi. "This is the last Olympics for four Chinese veteran players. We didn't do well and lost some confidence. But we have to face the failure. I will miss the time when I played for China at those Olympics."

China's winless finish was a significant stumble for a team that reached the last eight in three of the past four Olympic tournaments.

Both teams had already been eliminated from any chance of reaching the quarterfinals.

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