China got a wake-up call yesterday in the 27th FIBA Asia Championship in Manila, losing to South Korea 83-79. Today, it took out its frustration on Malaysia with a historic beating.
China scored the first 28 points. More than nine minutes lapsed before Malaysia made a bucket.
A lot of times in blowouts, a team will race ahead to a large deficit -- 40, maybe 50 points -- and then put it on cruise control. The overmatched but determined opponent will then shave the margin to a respectable 30 by game's end. This is not what happened here.
South Korea's not known for its basketball, but it made a huge statement in the opening game of the FIBA Asia Championship yesterday in Manila, beating the defending champs -- that's China -- 83-79 in a game that Nick Bedard of Buddha Basketball said kept "everyone... on the edge of their seats."
You could be forgiven for thinking that, entering its third and final match in the East Asian Cup on Sunday in Jamsil Olympic Stadium in Seoul, China had already exceeded expectations. Its toughest tests came in the first two games of this four-team tournament, and it passed -- "won," one might say, in the way that soccer teams can win draws. It mustered a furious late rally to erase a 3-1 deficit against Japan last Sunday, then summoned an intense defensive effort to keep a fesity South Korean squad out of the net on Wednesday -- this from a team that gave its weary fans no reason to expect these results, having convincingly lost its three previous contests.
Belgian international Jan Vertonghen, a key piece in Tottenham's defense, suffered an ankle injury in the second half of a friendly at Hong Kong Stadium yesterday. He slipped on the watery turf and now may miss the start of the English Premier League campaign on August 18, depending on MRI results.
The Chinese soccer team pulled off another minor miracle on Wednesday night in its second match in the East Asian Cup, withstanding South Korea's relentless attacks and holding them to a scoreless draw in Hwaseong Stadium near Seoul. It was the second positive result this week -- on Sunday, China roared back from two goals down to tie Japan 3-3 in the final minutes, its first non-loss in four matches. Now, two non-losses in the last two. If these guys keep this up, movies will be made about them.
China's soccer team scored two goals in the final 10 minutes to snatch an improbable 3-3 draw against Japan in the opening game of the 2013 EAFF East Asian Cup on Sunday in Seoul.
China had lost three consecutive games, including an embarrassing 5-1 home defeat to a mostly junior Thailand team last month. Japan are Asian champions. This result was not expected.
On Wednesday, AFP reported that Manchester United, the storied 135-year-old football club, finally joined Twitter and Sina Weibo. It has 446,714 followers on Twitter as of this moment and a modest-by-comparison 171,510 followers on Weibo, but realize this: Arsenal, which has had a Sina Weibo account for at least a year and has posted 7,238 messages compared to Man U's 46, has only 88,815 followers. Even in the realm of Chinese social media, the Red Devils reign supreme.
Former Los Angeles Lakers basketball player Metta World Peace, the artist formerly known as Ron Artest, apparently had a very impressionable trip to Beijing and Qingdao recently, because now he's thinking about playing basketball in this country, perhaps with Yao Ming's Shanghai Sharks. This would be a win for everyone, especially us. And you. Metta World Peace is awesome.
We've seen NBA players -- namely, those on the Miami Heat -- try to speak Chinese before, to bad results. We wish we could say this video, featuring Dwight Howard and John Wall, was better, but why would we say that?
Actually, a few reasons:
Move over, Stephon Marbury and Shaquille O'Neal: another NBA player has a statue in China.
Of course it's Kobe Bryant. Reports Dan Devine of Yahoo's Ball Don't Lie via Lakers fan Eddie Robles: "there appears to be a sculpture celebrating Bryant in the Chinese province of Guangzhou."
It's difficult -- it really is -- to say Chinese soccer has reached a "new" low, considering its history of match-fixing and utter, abysmal, unmitigated failure on the international stage (its only World Cup appearance coming in the year when two other Asian countries had automatic bids into the tourney). But after losing 5-1 to a mostly junior Thailand team on home turf on Saturday, more than a few fans are saying this is the bottom. "Disband the national team" has become something of a commonplace chant, as meaningless as "black whistle" when refs screw up, but the rallying cry attained something of a feverish tone of urgency on Saturday. Can it get worse? If so, it's only because we're talking about Chinese football here.
The Netherlands were in Beijing yesterday for an international friendly in Workers' Stadium. Less than 10 minutes in, Arjen Robben drew a penalty kick -- a pretty clear foul in which the defender slid into his heel -- and Robin van Persie connected for the game's first goal.
It's the second goal, however, that deserves your attention.
This had me laughing, too. It's unclear whether this video will have any appeal to non-baseball fans out there -- perhaps let us know in the comments -- but if you know Manny, you'll appreciate this.
Yahoo's Big League Stew blog would like to remind us, however:
Brittney Griner, who recently closed out one of the most dominant college careers in women's basketball history, is coming to China.
Apparently not satisfied enough with their previous 6’8 dunking female center, the Zhejiang Chouzhou Golden Bulls have taken things up a notch, signing not only the world’s greatest women’s dunker, but possibly its most dominant as well.
A bombshell in the CBA: Boss Wang Xingquan of the Shanxi Zhongyu Brave Dragons has sold his team to Beijing Enterprises Group Co. Ltd., for 1.2 billion 120 million yuan (US $194.5 $19.5 million), according to Sina via NiuBBall. The Beijing-based investment group will be moving the team up north, to the nation’s capital, where Marcus Williams... Read more »
I call it the Weibo Rule (though in my head, Kripke from The Big Bang Theory is the narrator, and it’s the “Weibo Wule”). Take any China number widely quoted in Western media and divide by 10. Forbes proved the rule recently, pushing the “Sina Weibo has more than 500 million users” line when, by... Read more »
Chris Tang caught our attention in February 2012, when it looked like he might be the best Chinese high school basketball player on the planet. He has the size (6-foot-3 last we checked, though he's likely still growing), the athletic ability, and the shooting touch. He's also enrolled at Oak Hill Academy in Virginia, a veritable factory for basketball players at elite college programs across the country.
On Friday, the Los Angeles Lakers’ torturous season suffered another calamity when star guard Kobe Bryant tore his Achilles tendon, ending one of his most impressive statistical seasons on a down note. Though the 34-year-old Bryant has his detractors, his work ethic and ability to battle through injuries are legendary, moving opposing fans and Lakers... Read more »
"Golfer from China." "Chinese golfer." "Asian." Hell, just stick with "14-year-old."
"Dude, Chinaman is not the preferred nomenclature," notes Timothy Burke of Deadspin, who pulled the above clip from a newscast in Lafayette, Louisiana.