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31 August
15 September, 2019
19 Heissler Guillent (VEN)
Game Report
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Guillent orchestrates Venezuela to win over China, Second Round ticket

BEIJING (China) - Venezuela continued their magical run at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 by advancing to the Second Round after knocking off hosts China  72-59 in a do-or-die game in Group A. 

TCL Player of the Game Heissler Guillent tallied 15 points while Dwight Lewis scored 13 points, Gregory Vargas had 12 and Nestor Colmenares chipped in 11 points as the South Americans out-hustled China in many regards - also with a number of players coming up with big plays throughout the game. Venezuela's victory pushes them to 2-1 and secures them second place in the group and a spot in the Second Round with Poland. It is the first time that Venezuela advanced from the opening group phase, finishing 11th in 1990, 14th in 2002 and 21st in 2006. 

Fang Shuo scored 13 points for China, who finished group play with a 1-2 record as they got just 21 points from the star trio of Yi Jianlian, Zhou Qi and Guo Ailun. 

Turning Point: 
China had trimmed  a double-digit deficit down to five points - 39-34 - late in the third quarter but Colmenares and Luis Bethelmy both hit three-pointers  in a 12-2 run for a 51-36 margin. It would be pushed out to 12 points 60-48 with under 5 minutes to play and China would not get closer than seven points the rest of the way.  

TCL Player of the Game: Guillent continued his fantastic tournament as he was Venezuela's orchestrator, making sweet music with the 15 points as well 8 assists, 3 rebounds and 1 steal including a basket and 2 assists in the big third quarter surge. 

Stats Don't Lie: Venezuela dominated the boards with 49 rebounds to China's 28, including 20 offensive rebounds while holding the hosts to just 33 percent from the field, including 22 percent from long range. The Chinese also hit just 14-of-22 free throws (64 percent) 

Bottom Line:  After beating Cote d'Ivoire for their first win, Venezuela made it two straight and can now focus on the Second Round in Foshan where they will face Argentina and Russia in Group I. China meanwhile will head to the Classification Round and hope to finish their World Cup as strong as possible with games against Korea and Nigeria. 

They said:
"I'm really proud of this win. We stuck to the game plan for the whole 40 minutes and it wasn't just another game for us as it was against China at home. Today is a historic day for Venezuela basketball and I'm going to enjoy this tonight with my players and coaching staff." - Venezuela head coach Fernando Duro

"I'm really happy with the win and the team tonight. It was a complete team effort. It wasn't easy to limit China to 59 points at home and on offense we shared the basketball. We look forward to playing in the Second Round." - Venezuela guard Heissler Guillient

"This is a very tough loss for us. Our staff put in a lot effort into this game but we played pretty tight and we didn't play well against their defense. We didn't rebound well, we allowed 20 more possessions for them. We still have some games to play and we need to focus on the next games." - China head coach Li Nan

"We played two different halves. Obviously both teams were eager to win. It might have reflected on the floor. We played a bit rushed, the staff told us to play with patience, but being down in the first half didn't help our mentality and we kept playing rushed. Venezuela are a very experienced team but we don't have time to dwell on the loss because we still have games to play." - China guard Fang Zhou