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MANILA, Philippines – Moving past his listless debut against Serbia, naturalized Chinese guard Kyle Anderson had a better outing in the Dragons’ second game against debutant South Sudan.
Anderson, the NBA player who goes by Li Kaier in China, listed 22 points on 50% shooting, as well as 5 rebounds and 3 assists, but the Chinese got decimated by 20 as the Sudanese earned their first-ever FIBA World Cup win, 89-69.
“[I’m] just trying to find a rhythm, really, I didn’t really think much of it,” Anderson told reporters after the contest.
“Just that there’s going to be tough games… but I mean, I wish that we would have come out with a win,” he added.
China went toe to toe in the first half against the Bright Stars, trailing by just 4, 40-44, at the half.
However, the South Sudanese offense heated up from downtown, led by the sniping of Chicago Bulls guard Carlik Jones, Kuany Kuany, and Nuni Omot.
The Africans also outscored them, 45-29, as they pulled away early in the fourth quarter.
South Sudan hit 15 threes, one more than the 14 they made inside the arc.
“We just got to figure out how to play hard for 40 minutes, 20 minutes at this level ain’t going to cut it,” lamented Anderson, who plays for the Minnesota Timberwolves in the NBA.
“We’re going to watch film and look within ourselves to try and play hard for 40 minutes, including myself,” he furthered.
“Obviously, not the results we wanted but we’re going to keep fighting and working until the end of the game and try go ahead and prepare.”
He also expressed his thankfulness for the sizable number of Chinese fans who watched their games at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.
“It’s been an awesome experience. The coaches, the players, the staff, the support has been tremendous,” he mentioned.
“It’s been tough after two losses but still appreciate everything that comes with it and all the people supporting us, I’m trying to play hard for them.” – Rappler.com