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China struggles to beat arch-rival South Korea

06-13-2011 08:28 BJT

NANJING, June 12 (Xinhua) -- Chinese men's basketball national team B beat arch-rival South Korea 61-54 after four bitter quarters here on Sunday at the 2011 East Asian Championship.

"I think both China and us are trting to give more time to young players," said South Korean head coach Hur Jae, who also put several first-choice players on the bench.

Power forward Lee Seung-Jun got his fifth foul with five and half minutes to go in the third quarter. Cho Sung-Min, Yang Hee-Jong and Kim Jong-Kyu were all expelled in the final minutes to the end of the game. South Korea had 32 fouls while China also had 29. China's Zhang Bo was also fouled out.

Zhang hit a buzzer-beat three-pointer in the first quarter, which helped China to build a 15-10 lead. He made two three-pointers in the first quarter and took six points but was scoreless from then on.

South Korea had a terrible shooting accuracy at the three-point line which they used to be famous for. But China's 3-of-16 is just little better than South Korea's 1-of-18. Meng Duo was 8-of-8 at free-throw line and received a match-high 14 points while Oh Se-Keun contributed 14 to South Korea.

"It was a tough game. There are many physical contacts," said Hur. "Chinese players are tall and strong. Our shooters didn't perform well."

"It is difficult for players to keep a high shooting percentage in such a body-punching game," admitted Li Nan, China's assistant coach. "Both team missed lots of three-pointers and free-throws and this is rare for both sides.

"I asked my players to keep fighting in the macth and they did exactly as I told. We deserve the victory," said Li. "But we still need to prove our passing and picking balls and keep protecting rebounds in the upcoming games."

Su Wei contributed nine of his 11 points in the second half and grabbed a match-high 12 rebounds.

"Our national team B had never beaten South Korea in the previous two years," said Su. "That's why I was eager to prove myself in this match. I had never wanted to win a match like this."

China will play Japan in Tuesday's semfinals while South Korea will meet Chinese Taipei. Japan beat Mongolia 94-73 to take the last spot in the final four and ensured a ticket to September's Asian Championship in Wuhan, central China.

Editor:Yang Jie |Source: Xinhua

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