Tuesday, August 22, 2006

China vs. Puerto Rico

Did I just happen to say that the refeering here was "pretty good"? My apologies, because I was wrong. Yao Ming fouled out, and that should not have happened, if the game had been called correctly. Twice, Daniel Santiago (the ugly cheater), flopped and was rewarded with two offensive foul calls on Yao. When Yao was playing with 4 fouls, one away from fouling out, Anthony Latimer drove the lane and drew the foul from Yao...no, he didn't draw the foul from Yao, he drew the foul from the refs, as Yao simply stood there, and got called for the foul despite the fact that Latimer clearly initiated the contact.

Did I say that the international refs didn't show any favors to superstars? That's right, because they actually make players like Santiago look like superstars with the way they call fouls.
OK, my apologies for going on like this, because it's tough to see your team's lead evaporate, then go down, and then back up again, then have the other team tie, then go into overtime and finally lose because of stupid, boneheaded plays.

Well, the loss wasn't entirely due to the refs. The fact of the matter is that China can't play with Yao. To play cohesively, and as one unit is impossible for China unless Yao is on the court. You could visibly see the play of Puerto Rico change when Yao went to the bench, and you could also see at the same time the playing style of China begin to morph into a brainless chicken with no muscle, no movement, and definitely no skill.

For example:With 44 seconds left, China had the ball and a 2-point lead. Instead of winding down the clock and shooting with about three seconds left, Du Feng (who should have been the hero since he hit the three that got them the lead) decided to back his man down from the three-point line, and then got trapped. He promptly traveled, leaving the Puerto Ricans fully 30 seconds to get a shot.

On the next possession, the Puerto Ricans (naturally) got a shot close in, and Yi Jianlian not only let them score, he even fouled him as well. So, tie game, and a chance to go ahead. Fortunately, for China, he missed, but then they even let them get the rebound. But once again they were saved because Carlos Arroyo missed a jumper at the last second. So, to overtime they went, and I don't even want to talk about their play in OT. They weren't just brainless chickens, they were chickens with no head, no arms, and no legs.

So, as the situation stands, the Chinese national team now has to win their next two, or they'll fishing early this year. Their opponents are Slovenia and Senegal. I think they can beat Senegal, but Slovenia will be very difficult. And that's who they'll be facing tomorrow.

I have posted several times about how Yao is so different on his national team, and today's game offered another great example. On one play, Yao was fouled by Peter John Ramos (that no-namer who played a grand total of 20 minutes for the Wizards), and then started jawing with him. They started pushing each other a little, and it could have turned into a shoving match, but, accompanied by a roar from the crowd, their teammates were rushed in, and the incident was over. However, once again, Yao showed his aggresiveness, as it was he who started it off, and his willingness to stand up for himself. Yao sort of seethed throughout the whole game, and in the third quarter he made this wonderful baseline spin (the fourth time he did that), and then threw down in the grill of the little suckers...err, Ramos and Santiago. If you've seen the infamous picture of Stromile dunking on Yao, then you'll what I mean when I say he did the same thing to Ramos.

And, at the last, here are some pictures of the stare-down between Ramos and Yao, provided by our trustworthy pryuen of yaomingmania.com.

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

Photobucket - Video and Image Hosting

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