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Indian cagers routed

September 26, 2003 22:52 IST

China, led by NBA sensation Yao Ming, drubbed India 117-62 in a Group II quarter-final match in the 22nd Asian Basketball Championship in Harbin in northeast China.

Despite leading China in the initial stages, the Indians could not maintain their superiority over the towering Chinese players.

After India took a 14-11 lead, the Chinese quickly made it 14-13 and never again allowed India to dominate.

At the end of the first quarter, China were up 33-15 and they pulled away to a 61-23 lead by half-time.

After the break, India improved their game by several notches but that was not enough to stop the Chinese, who appeared unstoppable. At the end of the third quarter, the Chinese were up 88-39, taking the match out of India's hand.

India put up a brave fight in the last quarter, scoring 23 points, the most productive period for them during the entire  game. But the Chinese also raced ahead and crossed the 100 mark in the end, winning 117-62.

India still has two more matches in the last eight round, against Lebanon and Japan.

The top two finishers from the two quarter-final groups will enter the semi-finals. The winner of the championship will qualify for the 2004 Athens Olympics.

Though India skipper S Robinson, Parminder Singh, Desraj and S Sridhar tried to break through they were limited in their movements due to the Chinese wall which had three seven-footers, including Ming.

Sambaji Kadam found the going tough against the defending champions and playmaker Gopinath did not fare any better.

India will take on Japan in their second quarter-final group match tomorrow.

Brief scores:

China 117 (Zing Jing 17, Yao Ming 14, Mezha 11) beat India 62 (S Robinson 16, Parminder Singh 14, Desraj 13).

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