Putian, China - Through the hot and humid air inside the Putian Arena, the NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars pulled out a 97-87 perspiration filled victory over the CBO team from Putian, Fujian. The game, delayed 30 minutes to wait for the local dignitaries and officials to arrive, started out with a flurry of three-point shots and a 7-0 run by the home team.
Team USA faltered early, but quickly recovered with the help of Drew Barham (Gonzaga) who scored a team high 21 points tonight. Greg Howard (ABA) also chipped in 17, while Kevin Kotzur (Santa Cruz D-League) had a strong showing, posting the only double-double of the game with 14 points and 10 rebounds. Guards Kiwi Gardner (Santa Crua D-League – 8 points) and Darren Moore (Cal-Irvine – 11 points), shared the team high with four assists each.
The Putian team looked like it might get blown out as the second quarter came to a halt with the USA team up 51-38, but a fast third quarter start and the hot hand of Jian Li kept the game close throughout the second half. Li finished the game going 9-of-12 from the 3-point line and led all scorers with 36 points.
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Star Head Coach James Andresevic noted after the win, “Under the circumstances, with a gym this hot and this being our first game out of the gates….we knew there were going to be some ups and downs. I thought for the most part we competed, and sometimes a guy like Li just gets red hot. We missed a few assignments on him, but we were more focused on getting ourselves together on the same page. We’ve got three tough matches coming up against China and we’ll have to be ready to go tomorrow night”
With the game out of reach with 15 seconds left on the clock, American guard, Kiwi Gardner wowed the crowd with a little double pump reverse dunk!
The USA team will depart it’s hotel late tomorrow morning to transfer to Quanzhou, were it will begin the first game in a best of 3 series against the Chinese National team. Tomorrow marks the end of a back to back game set, before transferring to another city for one more back to back set Friday and Saturday, Aug 8th and 9th.
Stay tuned for more reports and photos. We should have more photos of tonight’s game available soon. Ice Time!!!
NetScouts Basketball USA All-Stars
Tom Granado (Concordia) 8 points, 7 rebounds
Kevin Kotzur (Santa Cruz D-League) 14 points, 10 rebounds
Anthony Jones (Baylor) 7 points, 4 rebounds, 3 blocks
Ramon Harris (Kentucky) 4 points, 4 rebounds
Greg Howard (ABA) 17 points, 3 steals
Drew Barham (Gonzaga) 21 points, 5 rebounds
Greg Gantt (Austin D-League) 2 points, 3 rebounds, 1 steal
Darren Moore (Cal-Irvine) 11 points, 4 assists
Kiwi Gardner (Santa Cruz D-League) 8 points, 4 assists, 3 steals
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