China National Men’s Basketball Team Lost Poland in Overtime

China national men’s basketball team met Poland in the group match on September 2, the third match day of the 2019 Basketball World Cup. There were many fatal mistakes during the crucial moments for China national Men’s Basketball Team. China national Men’s Basketball Team lost to Poland 76-79 in overtime, with a 1-1 record. It will compete with Venezuela for the qualification place in the final group match held on September 4.

In the first quarter, China national men’s basketball team made a fantastic start. It swept the shadow of a slow start against Ivory Coast. Instead, it suppressed the opponent from the very beginning. Compared with the first game, China national men’s basketball team’s outside attack was extraordinary. Yi Jianlian and Guo Ailun hit three points in succession. Throughout the first quarter, China national men’s basketball team scored 4 points and had a 25-15 leading start, which was almost the best start in the history of China national men’s basketball team in the world championship. In front of the strong European opponents, China national men’s basketball team showed a strong desire to win.

Yi Jianlian

(picture source: 视觉中国)

But Poland team, after all, is the most competitive team in Group A. In the second quarter of the game, although with 12 points at most behind, Poland, based on defense strategy, became more aggressive and prevented China national men’s basketball team from scoring. In the second quarter, in front of Poland’s harsh defense, the offensive end of China national men’s basketball team was gradually lost, with only 10 points in the single quarter. As we enter the halftime, the score was 35-39, and China national has become the laggard.

At that moment, China national men’s basketball team was facing not only the low morale from leading to lagging behind, but also the historical law which was extremely unfavorable to China. In the previous 44 FIBA World Cup matches, China national men’s basketball team won only four games when it was behind in half time. In the history of the World Cup, there were 13 games where China national men’s basketball team scored no more than 35 points in half time. And they only won two of the games. The odds show that it is very difficult for China national men’s basketball team to win the match against the wind in the highly defensive match.

 China national men's basketball team

The reality seemed to be more desperate. Since the second quarter of the game, China national men’s basketball team has fallen into the predicament of too many fouls. Yi Jianlian and Guo Ailun, two absolute core players, have committed three fouls before the end of the second quarter. After the second half of the game, the referee’s whistle became tighter, and even some of it was directed at China national men’s basketball team. In the middle of the third quarter, Guo Ailun was first punished for an offensive foul, and then he was blown for a foul when he circumvented the other side’s cover. Technically speaking, both blows seemed to be questionable. Slow-motion replay shows that Guo Ailun’s two actions could be basically defined as no foul.

Guo Ailun

(picture source: 视觉中国)

However, the referee is the only one who has a fair grasp on the basketball court. Guo Ailun made an early offense and left the court early at the third quarter of the game, which has caused a serious blow to the strength of China national men’s basketball team. Just when many people thought that the men’s basketball team would collapse, they still brought us many surprises. For the rest of the game, Guo Ailun, Ding Yanyuhang and Zhou Peng were all absent, but China national men’s basketball team still struggled with Poland to the last minute and was once infinitely close to victory.

Neither Coach Li Nan nor most of the players in China national men’s basketball team have ever experienced the World Series (Li Nan as coach). They paid tuition fees for their lack of experience at the end of the regular season. China national men’s basketball team once had a 69-67 lead over Poland by two points, and held the ball right at the same time. With only 32 seconds to go before the end of the game, the winning balance was tilting towards China national men’s basketball team. But when Zhou Qi started his offensive movement, he was blown off for offensive fouls and handed over the ball to his opponents. It was from this mistake that the two sides began a “long” free throw competition in the last dozen seconds.

 Coach Li Nan

The young China national men’s basketball team did not stop making mistakes after missing the first chance to lock its victory. With 12 seconds to go, China national men’s basketball team still led by 3 points (70-67). However, there are continuous errors on the sideline when the two sides foul each other in the process of free throw. With 9 seconds to go, China national men’s basketball team trailed Poland by two points 76-78. It was Zhao Jiwei who stood on the sideline. Unfortunately, Zhao Jiwei failed to catch the opportunities to serve the ball during his teammates’ running and interposition. China national men’s basketball team made a low-level mistake which violated the rule of serving the ball within 5 seconds. While giving the ball to Poland again, China national men’s basketball team just lost the final hope of winning.

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