Yixing (China), July 13 (IANS) China defeated France 75-70 in an international men’s basketball friendly here.

France held a 9-2 lead in the early stages of the match on Tuesday, but China led the first quarter 20-18 with guard Guo Ailun scoring a three-pointer. France played much more aggressively in the second period to overtake the lead 39-34 at the half break, reports Xinhua.

The hosts outscored their French peers 20-13 in the third period for a two-point cushion into the final quarter where China geared up the defense and fought for rebounds to build a nine-point lead.

After France narrowed the gap to three points in the final minute, Zhou Qi made a block and Zhai Xiaochuan found Yi Jianlian with a long pass, who finished with a dunk to secure the win for the hosts.

Yi scored a game-high 27 points while Guo and Zhai combined for 28.

“It’s the best game we played since we returned from Italy,” said Gong Luming, head coach of the Chinese team. “But we still made errors. The Olympics is coming and we have to be ready.”

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    The IANS was founded by Indian American publisher Gopal Raju as the India Abroad News Service. It was later renamed the Indo-Asian News Service.

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