As Yao was double- and triple-teamed against Greece on Sunday, the backcourt proved to be the Chinese national team’s liability as they lost 95-64 to Greece. Yao and company have now been eliminated from the World Championship tournament.
Yao, who was leading the tournament in scoring with 28.4 points per game, only scored 10 points in this one and grabbed 8 rebounds.
Things were looking good as China jumped out to a 23-11 and 27-17 lead in the second quarter, but then Greece turned on the pressure and forced a total of 24 turnovers and made China take lots of bad shots.
At least the Chinese and Yao accomplished their goal in these World Championships by advancing from the first round to this semi-final game from that amazing win against Slovenia.
And if it makes him feel any better, Yao’s new Rocket teammate and Greek guard Vassilis Spanoulis was outstanding, igniting the Greeks with instant offense and scoring 15 points overall. The Rockets can really use someone Manu Ginobili-like in their backcourt. If he’s anywhere close to being like Manu, Yao will be happy.