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Ming breathes fire in China's first win

August 14, 2008 15:19 IST

A chest-thumping Yao Ming relentlessly powered Olympic hosts China to their first victory in the men's basketball competition on Thursday.

Screaming constantly at his team mates to get him the ball, China's giant centre scored 30 points in a 85-68 Group B win over Angola, preserving their hopes of a spot in the quarter-finals.

"I think that's our chemistry," Yao told Reuters. "My team mates made a lot of room for me by making a lot of open shots and I needed to do something on the inside."

A thunderous slam dunk by Yao gave China a 24-8 lead before Angola sliced the deficit to just two on an off-balance Eduardo Mingas three-pointer to end the first quarter.

Fuelled by Yao's energy, the Chinese extended their lead again in the third quarter, Yi Jianlian's breakaway dunk making it 61-47 and reigniting the crowd of 17,000.

World champions Spain secured their place in the quarter-finals with a 72-59 Group B victory over Germany helped by 15 points from Toronto Raptors guard Jose Calderon.

German coach Dirk Bauermann said his top player, Dallas Mavericks forward Dirk Nowitzki, was hammered all day but failed to get to the foul line once.

"There has got to be something wrong," fumed Bauermann. "A few more fouls should have been called frankly. I hope that doesn't continue."

Los Angeles Lakers forward Pau Gasol added 13 for the Spaniards, who have become embroiled in a race row after making slit-eyed gestures in an sponsor's advertisement photo.

Guard Brad Newley scored 24 points as Australia's "Boomers" won their first game in Group A with a 106-68 victory over Iran.

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