Shockers leave Chinese in peril and French ‘scared to go home’ – rezal404

China has now slumped to its second straight loss in the World Cup. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

China has now slumped to its second straight loss in the World Cup. —AUGUST DELA CRUZ

Don’t let the difference in world rankings fool you.

South Sudan notched its first-ever Fiba World Cup victory with an 89-69 rout of China on Monday that left the Asian heavyweights on the verge of elimination.

“We made history. We came to do what we wanted to do. We’re not done. We got a lot to play,” said Carlik Jones, the Chicago Bulls guard in the NBA who has South Sudan roots. “It’s huge for the country, it’s huge for the fans. We’re just blessed to be here and we’re just grateful.”

Jones finished with 21 points, making three triples out of four attempts, and added six assists for the Bright Stars, who are making their first appearance in the World Cup.

“Like I’ve said 20 times man, I couldn’t do it without my teammates. My teammates trust me, my coaches trust me. I just try to come out and be who I am,” said Jones.

“Leader is the biggest thing for me being the point guard. I have to lead the offense and defense. I just want to make sure that my teammates are good and everybody is confident.”

The loss left China’s campaign hanging by a thread. Ranked 27th in the world, the Chinese could find no way back against their 62nd-ranked opponents, even after a bounce-back game by NBA forward Kyle Anderson of the Minnesota Timberwolves. Anderson, who goes by the name Li Kaier, led China with 22 points.

“We just got to figure out how to play hard for 40 minutes; 20 minutes at this level ain’t gonna cut it,” Li said.

China, earlier trashed by Serbia, 105-63, is winless in two games.

France was also kept winless in the World Cup after an 88-86 loss to Latvia, and the Olympic silver medalists in Tokyo crashed out of title contention in a way that left veteran forward Nicolas Batum “scared to go home.”

“I wasn’t really ashamed with that jersey but that’s the first time I’m really ashamed,” said the Los Angeles Clippers forward. “I’m scared to go home because we have let a lot of people down. A lot of people in the country believed in us to do something.

“They believed in it and we didn’t do it.” —WITH REPORTS FROM ROMMEL FUERTES JR., AFP

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