China beat Cote d'Ivoire 70-55 in FIBA World Cup 1st round
BEIJING - Yi Jianlian and Guo Ailun combined for 36 points as the Chinese men's national basketball team beat Cote d'Ivoire 70-55 here on Saturday in a Group A first round meeting to start their FIBA World Cup journey on home soil.
The former Milwaukee Bucks player Yi led the scoring sheet with 19 points, 17 of which came from the second half, while Guo Ailun contributed 17 points and 9 assists for the hosts.
"We did a great job tonight. The tough defence of our rivalry caused us lots of troubles in the first half, but we were more concentrated in the second half. Although we didn't make many long-range shots, we got better on both ends," said China head coach Li Nan.
The host team, under pressure from playing in front of home fans, only shot 36% from the field and missed three of six free throws in the opening quarter.
China's Zhai Xiaochuan made three straight baskets for 12 points, while Diabate Souleyman contributed two 3-pointers to gift Cote d'Ivoire a 16-14 lead.