three-pointer at the whistle has put China through the group stage to
reach the final 16 at the ongoing Basketball
Men's World Championship in Japan.
Slovenia's Radoslav Nesterovic (C) splits the
defense of China's Wang Zhizhi (L) and Yao Ming during the first
round of the world basketball championships in Sapporo August 24,
The clutch-time throw was his only score in the game, but was good
enough to help China pass Slovenia 78-77.
China's star center Yao Ming contributed 36 points and 10 rebounds.
Both China and Slovenia entered the game with only one target: beating
the other side to reach the knockout stage.
The two teams opened the game head-on-head and scored successively
before Slovenia took a quick run to widen the gap, leading the game 22-17
at the end of first quarter.
In the second quarter, Slovenia extended their lead to eight points,
ending the first half 46-38.
China then managed to trim down the deficit to only two points in the
third quarter, leaving the score 59-57.
However, Slovenia again took the upper hand thanks to their quick
breakthroughs to lead the game with a sizeable advantage.
In the final minutes, Wang Zhizhi, another star Chinese center,
bombarded the rivals with a three-pointer and two free throws to put
China back on track.
Zhu Fangyu added another three-pointer to cut down the deficit to only
one point, followed by Yao Ming's free throw that had evened the scores at
With only 31 seconds to go, Slovenia launched their final attack and
converted the chance into two points.
China was left with only six seconds when Wang Shipeng dribbled the ball to release it in the final
second of the game, scoring a dramatic three-pointer for China!
China lost their first three group matches to Italy, the US and Puerto
Rico respectively but managed to win the final two matches against Senegal
and Slovenia to reach the next stage.