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China beat Angola for third win to reach quarterfinals at London Olympics


09:24, August 02, 2012

LONDON, Aug. 1 (Xinhua) -- China beat African champion Angola 76-52 for their third consecutive victory and also booked a berth in the quarterfinal of the women's basketball tournament at the London Olympic Games here on Wednesday.

China only used one quarter to seize the victory. They outscored their opponents 24-6 in the third quarter to build a 20-point lead and never trailed in the second half. Every Chinese player scored, with two of them reaching double figures.

Chen Nan scored eight of her match-high 15 points in the first quarter and grabbed four rebounds. Ma Zengyu also took 15 points. Veteran Miao Lijie got six points and five assists.

"We lost our concentration in the first half," said Ma, who also grabbed a match-high nine rebounds. "Maybe because we didn't meet too much difficulties in the first two wins, we overrated ourselves. After the halftime break, we made adjustments and quickly controlled the match."

It's the first time for China to play Angola in a match of world-stage tournament. The African champion seemed to fully recover from their Monday's 38-90 loss to the United States, opening the match with a three-point and only trailing by two points after the first quarter.

"Our defense was poor in the beginning. We didn't focus enough in the first quarter," said Miao. "But we preformed our best in the second half and proved that there are still distances between the two teams."

Nacissela Mauricio's free throw tied the score 28-all for Angola. But Ma hit a buzzer-beat three-point at halftime, which gave China a two-point lead at 33-31.

China went on a 10-0 run in the third quarter and forced Angola to take in four 24-second violations. Ji Yanyan, leading scorer of China's WCBA League, made her Olympic debut in this quarter and finished with six points after seven minutes.

"I feel excited about my first Olympic match," said Ji. "Playing in an Olympic match means success to me. I will try to enjoy the Olympics."

Sonia Guadalupe led Angola with 12 points. Three Angola players reached double figures.

China became the second team to qualify for the top eight. France edged out Canada 64-60 in Wednesday's opening match to stay unbeaten after three preliminary round matches and reach the quarterfinals.

China, which finished fourth in the Beijing 2008, will play against Turkey on Friday before they face the mighty United States, which they have never won at the Olympics.


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