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- Euro 2012
Australia: Patrick Mills, Joe Ingles, Matthew Dellavedova, David Andersen, Matthew Nielsen
Head Coach: Brett Brown
China: Liu Wei, Wang Shipeng, Sun Yue, Yi Jinlian, Wang Zhizhi
Head Coach: Robert Donewald
Two of the teams fighting for the last knockout round qualification spot in Group B- Australia and China- played against each other in the first game of the day in this group. Australia were the better team and deservedly won 81:61.
Both coaches had made one change each compared to the previous matches- Matthew Nielsen started instead of Aleks Maric for Australia, while Wang Zhizhi was chosen ahead of Ding Jinhui for China.
The first quarter was very interesting and promised great excitement till the end of the game. That’s not exactly what happened though, but I’ll get to that later. Anyway, China won 21:22 after an amazing performance by Wang Shipeng who scored 12 points. Patrick Mills was Australia’s best player in this quarter, and in the game as a whole, and he scored 9 of his 20 points in the first quarter.
What happened to China’s game in the second one is beyond me, but they were completely destroyed by the Australians who played with a lot of flair. A 28:11 win in this quarter gave them a lead of 16 points at half time- 49:33. Joe Ingles and David Andersen were the leaders of the team in these minutes and the Chinese couldn’t find a way to stop them. Yi Jinlian from the Dallas Mavericks, and national team star was particularly disappointing as he scored 10 point in the whole first half, but most of them came after free throws.
The Chinese seemed to find their form again in the third quarter, and they won it 12:19, but only to completely succumb in the fourth which they lost 20:9. They can blame their 2 point shooting for this third in a row failure, as they managed just 10/35, or in other words- 29%, a very, very poor success rate. Their rebounding wasn’t on the highest level as well, as they allowed Australia to get 21 offensive rebounds.
After this result it seems almost impossible for the Chinese team to qualify for the knockout stages of the competition, as they’ve still got to play against the unbeaten Brazilians and the hosts from Great Britain. Australia, on the other hand, will also have to face Team GB before playing against Russia in their last group game. If they manage to win one of these two, and they should, they’ll qualify for the next round, as they usually do.
Australia: Patrick Mills 20, David Andersen 17
China: Wang Shipeng 21, Yi Jinlian 13
Australia: Mark Worthington 8, Joe Ingles, David Andersen, Brad Newley- 7 each
China: Yi Jinlian & Wang Zhizhi- 12 each
Australia: Joe Ingles 7, Matthew Dellavedova 5
China: Wang Shipeng 3
Double-double: Yi Jinlian (CHN) 13 points, 12 rebounds