CHINA’s superstar forward Yi Jian Lian made a triumphant return from a four-game absence, drilling in 12 points and adding six boards in powering the defending Asian champion to an easy 88-66 win over
Bahrain at the close of the second round preliminaries of the 27th Fiba-Asia Championships.
For Yi, what’s important is that he’s regained his bearing especially since coming off two injuries- one on his hamstring and other other on his groin- that kept him at the sidelines for much of the tournament.
“I’ve been trying keep (myself) in shape while I was out,” said the 25-year-old athletic Chinese forward, whose most recent NBA stint was with the Dallas Mavericks this past season.
Yi said he’s excited to return to action, especially in the knockout stages where they are just three victories away from successfully defending their Asian basketball title.
“The first two rounds of the games are done today. Now, the most important games are coming soon. I think these two rounds gave us the chance to can find what our mistakes and problems are and how to
improve on them,” explained Yi.
China will face Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinal game that begins on Friday. And the 7’0” Yi will be matched up against Chinese Taipei’s center/forward Tseng Wen-Ting, a rugged big man who can shoot from the outside.
Yi however, declined to comment, except to say that China national coach Panagiotis Giannakis has prepared something against the Taiwanese.
“Right now, I think coach has made some preparations and we’ll be talking about that. As for me, I’m getting my mind ready,” he added.