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SYDNEY 2000 / SUMMER OLYMPIC GAMES | SPORT BY SPORT
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Navarro Leads Way as Spain Scales 'Wall'

September 27, 2000|Times Wire Services

It wasn't a great Olympics for the "Great Wall."

Juan Carlos Navarro scored 19 points, leading Spain to an 84-64 victory over China on Tuesday in the ninth-place game of the men's basketball tournament.

China (2-4) came into the Olympics with a lot of attention focused on its three big men: 7-foot-5 Yao Ming, 7-1 Wang Zhizhi and 6-11 Menkbatare, known collectively as the "Great Wall."

China's only victories were over New Zealand, which finished 11th, and Italy in a game that had no bearing on the pool standings. The other losses were to the United States, 119-72; France, 75-60; and Lithuania, 82-66.

The big men looked good individually at times, but the team never jelled.

"I think this was a great event," said Yao, who turned 20 just before the Games began. "It showed me I have a lot to improve and let me start to make my mark on the basketball world."

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