Lebanon Beats China, 77-71

* I liked the way Peter Martin & Richard Del Rosario commentated on the game at ABC 5. They were not biased, always using the stats for analysis, & providing a good number of information about the players & teams.

‘Lebanese National Team’

* Lebanon’s half-court offense is just very predictable, all the way from the Jones Cup. It’s just El-Khatib all the way, from the scoring, to the passing plays.

* They also seemed to complain a lot in this game, despite the fact that they had about twice more free throws than the Chinese (thirtysomething compared to 15+ only for China). It even seemed El-Khatib expected a foul to be called every time he drove to the basket. In contrast, the Chinese were very gracious about the calls, even if so many fouls were called on them.

* With all those complaints about the officiating, I feel that the Lebanese were trying to offset their shallow bench & predictable plays by playing more physical & hopefully getting the fouls, which is exactly what happened.

‘Chinese National Team’

* I’m not so impressed w/ this Chinese National Team “B”. They’re tall & athletic, but they’re thin, & about the only thing they do really well on the floor, is look well on the defensive end. That being said, they still were not able to contain El-Khatib.

* They showed flashes of brilliance in their passing plays, but couldn’t finish their shots coming off those plays consistently.

* I’m even less impressed w/ Adiljan’s coaching, allowing his top 2 scorers, Yi Lin & Bo Wang to foul out relatively early in the game by assigning them to El-Khatib even if they were already in foul trouble.

* Yi Lin, despite the limited time he got to handle the ball, looked really impressive. He is quick, & has great coordination for a 6’9″ guy, allowing for those smooth moves to the basket.

‘Parting Shot’

* With yesterday’s close game against RP, & this loss to Lebanon, if I were the Chinese officials, I would scrap the idea of sending this team to Tokushima, & send their “A” team instead. The stakes for China is quite high: Jordan is a very strong team, & if this Chinese team loses also to us, they could find themselves ELIMINATED from the tournament. THAT, would be very embarassing for them, despite their assured slot in the Olympics.

* Let this be a lesson for China: You can’t send your “B” team to major international competitons, & expect to win. You need to send your best team everytime, if you are aiming for a decent finish in these types of competition.

* At the very least, this team should find itself reinforced by some “A” team members in Tokushima. It would be very foolhardy for China to send this team as is. Welcome for us, though, so I hope they WILL be foolhardy.

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