Saturday, August 9, 2008

Beijing Play Underway

Three games into the 2008 Olympics, the big winner is fans (at least in the U.S.) who are able to watch these games online. Although the lack of commentary requires a bit of an adjustment, the quality is excellent. You can also catch archives of the games at

The big result so far is China just knocking off Spain by a 77-74 final, an outcome that seems to confirm the notion that the hosts might be the best of the teams outside the big three (Australia, Russia, U.S.). China's defense really seemed to frustrate Spanish star Amaya Valdemoro, and a big night from 18-year-old forward Alba Torrens (20 points and a spot on my radar) wasn't enough to make up for it.

Belarus kept things reasonably close in the second half, but predictably Australia cruised in the tournament opener. In between, we saw an important game between Mali and New Zealand that could end up determining fifth and sixth place in Group B. Despite a commendable effort from the African champs, the Tall Ferns held on for the 76-72 win.

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