China loses to Brazil 90-84 in World Cup warm-up

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The Chinese men's national basketball team lost to powerhouse Brazil 90-84 in a warm-up game ahead of the FIBA World Cup here on Friday.

Former NBA player Yi Jianlian and Guo Ailun contributed 20 and 22 points for the host respectively, while Brazil's Vitor Benite scored a game-high 23 points.

Zhou Qi, 23, former Houston Rockets forward, got 10 points and eight rebounds, before he was forced off the court for a sprained ankle in the fourth quarter, casting a cloud over his first World Cup journey.

"Zhou sprained his ankle. We are not sure about his injury at the moment and he will go through a medical exam tomorrow," said Li Nan, head coach of the Chinese team.

China fielded its strongest squad to stun the Brazilian players in the opening minutes as Guo made five straight baskets for 12 points to gift the host an 18-8 lead. However, the visitors resorted to tough defense to tie the game 19-all in the first quarter.

The second quarter became a seesaw battle as both Guo and Brazilian center Cristiano Felicio contributed eight points each. And the home side led 43-42 at halftime following a buzzer-beater 3-pointer from captain Yi.

The Chinese cagers had a 12-2 run to start the third quarter and led 67-61 into the final quarter.

During the clutch time, Leandro Barbosa, the former NBA Sixth Man of the Year, who got 19 points, scored an easy lay-up to help Brazil overtake the lead 71-70.

Although Fang Shuo answered with a tough 3-pointer, the visitors extended their lead and sealed the game by six points.

Both teams will play their last warm-up in Wuhan on Sunday before the 2019 FIBA World Cup reels off on August 31 across eight cities in China. 

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