Thursday, August 24, 2006

China Fulfills Prophecy, Yao Wants Commemorative T-Shirt
FIBA World Chip Coverage 2006

You really can't stop the prophet... Yao dropped 36 pts, 10 rebs and 4 blks in an upset last-minute win over Slovenia to secure China's spot in the medal round. Much maligned (everywhere, but also here on Globetrotter) SG Wang Shipeng hit a three-pointer at the buzzer to put China over the top (77-76).

The win may be China's greatest in international play says Yao Mania!, and the FIBA website is down with every fan in China bum-rushing the site for... we guess, the recap or box score or something. We couldn't get on. Yao Mania! has this quote from Yao on the historic win:
This was just so exciting. So dramatic. I just gave someone $500 bucks to go buy souvenirs. I want to remember this.
$500 bucks... How many t-shirts, flags, noise-makers, fans, inflatable stick thingies, bobbleheads, pennants, foam fingers, programs, bootleg videos, jerseys and ramen noodles can you buy for that? Not enough.

Group A: Argentina is boring
What could have been the story of the tournament, Lebanon just misses advancing to the medal round with a blowout loss to Nigeria (95-72). This just after an upset victory over France on Wednesday. We didn't think they would win a game, they won two (the second against Venezuala). Serbia & Montenegro gets it together and advances, as does France and Nigeria. Argentina, predictably, goes unbeaten and may be the favorite to win.

Group B: Host team goes home, so to speak
FIBA World Chip host, Japan, does not move on. Spain, as predicted, dominates the field. Germany, Angola and New Zeland all advance.

Group C: Turks, Greeks advance
On iki dev adam loses to Greece but comfortably advances to the medal round. Australia and Lithuania join the Turks and undefeated Greece in the tourney.

Group D: Carmelo sports a sag
After a brief scare against Italy on Wednesday--and after Carmelo argues with 29 second-half points that the 2003 NBA draft will be the greatest of all time--Team USA returns to form... and shits on Senegal.

Italy, Slovenia and of course, China, all advance. Carmelo pic from Reuters.

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