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Sweden takes 11th place in men's wheelchair basketball
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15:49, September 15, 2008

Sweden shut down China 63-45 to take the 11th place in the classification play-off game of Paralympic men's wheelchair basketball at the National Indoor Stadium on Sunday.

Sweden extended their halftime lead of three points and outscored China 30-15 in the second half, for their second win of the tournament.

China was contained to 2 points in the laster quarter. Forward Hussein Haidari was the game's top scorer with 19 points for Sweden, and two of his teammates scored 14 points.

"Everybody played at their best level, but there were many uncertain things," said Chinese forward Huang Xunan.

"I wanted to play (in the second half), but the coach just asked me to stay (on the bench). I don't understand why," added Huang, who scored 6 points and grabbed 4 rebounds in his seven-minute stay on court.

Sweden also seized 52 rebounds, scoring 22 second-chance points.

China's offence was unable to rally them in the fourth quarter, in which they scored only two points against Sweden's 16.

"We lack experience in big tournaments. In many cases, we couldn't control ourselves," said Chinese guard Guo Yandong.

"I didn't do well. I didn't perform my best in the tournament.

"We learned the teamwork of the strong teams. The gap (between them and us) is too big. There are so many things to learn -- skills, experience, spirit and so on."

Chinese center Ding Hai scored the most points for his team in 14 points, twice as many as any of his teammates.

China finished winless in the tournament and settled with the last place in a 0-7 record.

Sweden took their first win from Japan in preliminaries. The 11th place just failed their expectation.

"We got the gold medal in the European Championships last year, but it can't be compared with the Paralympic Games. There are many strong teams here and we didn't have games with most of them before. Therefore, we had this kind of result," said Swedish coach Ines Lopes.

"I was not satisfied with our performance as a whole. We were expecting a lot more. Our original goal was to qualify for the quarterfinals, and even the semifinals, but we only got eleventh," added she.

But with the arrangement of the Paralympics, Lopes said yes.

"The arrangement of the wheelchair basketball games impressed us mostly, and the efficiency of the games was great. It made it easy for us to play our games when everything was organised well."

Source: Xinhua

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