After two World Cup matches, the one who called himself Kyle Anderson has already been sent back to his studies! The one who called himself Li Kaier has already had to take stock of his two performances, one at zero points for his entry into the running against Serbia (0/9 in shooting), then a much better exit at 22 points, 5 rebounds , 3 assists, 2 steals, however insufficient to compete with South Sudan, winner 89-69.
“Clearly, I suffered in the first game. But I hung on, I did some video to see where I could be effective. And I tried to play better against South Sudan.” did he declare after yesterday’s meeting ended China’s qualifying hopes.
FIBA basketball, a new language, a new country…
Naturalized at the last minute, discovering FIBA basketball, the language barrier, the player also confronted the quality of the level of play deployed by the opposing collectives. That was probably a lot for him to succeed in his mission to embody the savior who would qualify China for the next round. For him, adapting to international basketball has been the most complicated adjustment.
“The physical size, the spacing, and the whistles that you can get in the NBA, you don’t get them here in FIBA. It’s a different sport. The pitch is much smaller, there isn’t a lot of space, so it’s a different sport.”he admitted. “You also play against teams that have been together since they were 16 or younger. NBA players are swimming in dangerous waters in this context. It’s not our style of play, but I have to find a way to be efficient and try to get the win”.
While there is still a group match to be played this Wednesday against Puerto Rico, Kyle Anderson assures that his team will not let go.
“It’s an incredible experience, for coaches, players, staff and fans. Their support is incredible. Of course, it’s hard after two defeats but I still appreciate everything that goes with it, all the people who support us. We try to give our all for them.” he concluded.
How to read the stats? MJ = matches played; Min = Minutes; Shots = Shots made / Shots attempted; 3pts = 3-points / 3-points attempted; LF = free throws made / free throws attempted; Off = offensive rebound; Def= defensive rebound; Tot = Total bounces; Pd = assists; Fte: Personal fouls; Int = Intercepts; Bp = Lost bullets; Ct: Counters; Points = Points.