The Korean national basketball team lost 61-54 to China in a group tie at the 2011 East Asian Championship in Nanjing, China, Sunday.
Having already secured a semifinal berth, both teams rested their top players and employed younger players for the preliminary game.
China led 15-10 after the first quarter and Korea trailed 28-26 at halftime. However, the home side, which boasts eight players who are taller than 2 meters, was too strong.
Meng Duo led China with 14 points and three rebounds and Su Wei added 11 points and 12 rebounds.
Debutant Oh Se-keun led Korea with 14 points and nine rebounds. Power forward Lee Seung-jun also added 11 points and six rebounds, but he got his fifth foul just 5 minutes into the third quarter.
Three other Korean players, Cho Sung-min, Yang Hee-jong and Kim Jong-kyu, also fouled out in the final quarter.
The Korean side grabbed 41 rebounds in the game but had one of its worst shooting performances.
Korea had 18 attempts long-range but only made one. The Chinese side was slightly better at 3 of 16.
Korea manager Hur Jae admitted the game was tough for his side.
“It was a tough game. The Chinese players are tall and strong. Our shooters didn’t perform well,” he said after the game.
In the other group match, Japan beat Mongolia 94-73 to secure the last spot in the final four. Korea had already secured a top-four spot in the tournament after beating Hong Kong 134-47 on Friday. Korea will play Taiwan on Tuesday.
By Oh Kyu-wook (email@example.com