By Eurohoops team/ firstname.lastname@example.org
Venezuela made it through to the FIBA World Cup Second Round after logging a 72-59 win over China in the last game of Group A.
Venezuela finished the First Round at the second spot with a 2-1 record behind Poland (3-0). China (1-2) took the third and Ivory Coast fourth place.
Heissler Guillent led the winning side with 15 points, eight assists and three rebounds while Dwight Lewis added 13 and Gregory Vargas 12 points.
For China, Shuo Fang scored 13 in addition to Jiwei Zhao’s 12 and Jianlian Yi’s 11 points. The latter also grabbed eight rebounds.
Venezuela coach Fernando Hector Duro got emotional during the press conference: “I’d like to dedicate this win to two people I just lost some time ago, my mother and my friend Pucho who passed away in the last couple of months. I want to dedicate this win to them as well as my players, my coaching staff. I’m really proud of the way we played tonight as a whole team.”
China scored the first three points of the game but that was the only lead they had throughout all forty minutes. Venezuela went ahead 18-10 after the first quarter. They kept the distance in a balanced second period as well ad went on the break with a 33-23.
The second half was full of ups and downs but the closest Chia could reach was the five-point margin (39-34) in the third quarter. Venezuela seemed to always have an answer for China’s comebacks and led by as much as 15 points (51-36; 58-43) eventually securing the win without much trouble.
“We played two different halves. Obviously both teams were eager to win. It might have reflected on the floor. We played a bit rushed, the staff told us to play with patience, but being down in the first half didn’t help our mentality and we kept playing rushed. Venezuela are a very experienced team but we don’t have time to dwell on the loss because we still have games to play”, China guard Fang Zhou said.
Photo Credit: FIBA.BASKETBALL