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Basketball: China Outlasts Spirited Lebanon 75-73
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There is no loser in Sunday's final second round group match of the Doha Asian Games men's basketball tournament between China and Lebanon.

Asian champion and title favorite China won the hotly contested match 75-73, thanks to two free throws made by Liu Wei with 2.6 seconds to go, and cruised into the quarter-finals with a clean sheet in Group B.

While the Lebanese, who had its chance of qualifying for the knock out stage extinguished before the clash, went back home with their heads held high.

Following a fine performance at the World Championship this fall, the Asian runner-up was expected to be a major challenger to China at this Asian Games. However, due to poor preparation and the disappearance of former head coach Paul Coughter, Lebanon only managed one win against three losses before taking on China on Sunday.

With only dignity to play for and its top star Fadi El Khatib, who averaged 23.8 points in the first four games of the tournament, withdrawing with back injury, Lebanon fought bravely for a 70-66 lead with three minutes and 12 seconds remaining.

China, who had secured a top finish in the group before the game, regained the advantage at 72-70 through a 6-0 run, during which Wang Shipeng made his fourth and final three-pointer of the game.

Rony Fahed made one from the line to make it 72-71.

(Xinhua News Agency December 11, 2006)

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