Men's basketball suffers 2nd loss after rout to Russia
Updated: 2012-07-31 20:35:51
Russia's Sergey Monya (C) is challenged by China's Zhou Peng (8) and Zhu Fangyu (15) during the men's preliminary round Group B basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]
LONDON - Russia managed a 73-54 win over China though they were not playing an impressive offensive game Tuesday in the preliminary round of the men's basketball competition at the London 2012.
Andrei Kirelenko scored 16 points to lead the Russians when the team shot only 4-out-of-17 from behind the arc.
"We didn't win the game by offense, we won it by defence. Our defence took China out of their usual game," Russia's American coach David Blatt said.
"China are deeper, have more options (on rotation) and more experiences at such a high-level competition. They challenged us on offence and defence. Anyone who will play China down the string will find it's not an easy game," he added.
Coming from a 95-75 opening win over Britain when Kirelenko scored 35 points, Russia confronted solid defence in the early game on Tuesday as they scored just 20 points in each of the first two quarters.
But the bigger and stronger Russians could do better on the same task as they led 40-25 before the break.
"The Russians are long and physical and they really kicked our butts," China's American coach Robert Donewald Jr. said. "When the game gets physical, we usualy disappeared a little bit. Their physical plays bothered our defence and we're slow all the day. I'm not very happy with the game."
China shot 37 per cent in the field and 38 per cent on 3-pointers when they were also overwhelmed on the board, 46-29.
Yi Jianlian, who was 13-out-of-19 to score 30 points in China's opener against Spain, led the team with 16 points on a 6-out-of-14 shooting game.
"I was too much consistent on my shooting in the first quarter. I should have pulled back a little bit. But in a game against team like Russia, you cannot do a single thing wrong. Their defence dragged us out of the game," Yi said.
Russia are in the driving seat with two wins in Group B, which brackets Spain, Australia, Brazil and Britain, while China are still seeking for their first win after two matches.
China's Yi Jianlian (L) breaks past Russia's Sasha Kaun during the men's preliminary round Group B basketball match at the Basketball Arena during the London 2012 Olympic Games July 31, 2012. [Photo/Agencies]