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China enters semi-finals at Asian Basketball Championship
( 2003-09-28 10:03) (Xinhua)

Reigning champions China beat Lebanon 110-71 for their fifth straight win and made it to the top four of the Asian men's basketball championship Saturday in Haribin.

NBA Houston Rockets center Yao Ming led the team with a game- high 33 points and grabbed 16 rebounds in his 35:01 appearance. The 20-year-old Zhu Fangyu had 20 points and seven rebounds.

China, who outscored Lebanon 97-63 to defend the title two years ago in Shanghai, showed no mercy to open the match with three three-pointers and took a 31:22 lead in the first quarter.

China stumbled in the second quarter as Lebanon fought back with a 7-2 run to cut the deficit to nine points. Yao Ming initiated the attacking force with a dunk and then a basket for a 10-0 run in 1-17 before China took a 52-33 advantage.

"NBA taught Yao Ming a lot," said Lebanon center Joseph Vogel. "He has played against the best centers in the world and improved so quickly. He dominated here pretty easily."

Trailing at 76-53 to enter the fourth period, Lebanon were worn down and played poor defense as they surrendered to China 110-71.

Japan beat India 103-74 for their first win in the quarter- final round. India has lost two matches.

In other quarter-final games on Saturday, Qatar outscored South Korea 87-80 for their second straight win in the quarter-finals and clinched a semifinal berth. Iran swept over Kazakhstan 92-85.

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