USA 121, China 90

(Flash soars, Yao observes)

From the Houston Chronicle’s Fran Blinebury :

Early in the third quarter, Yao came up with a steal on defense, looked up and began an impressive length of the court, weaving dribble that gained momentum. But was Yao approached the free throw line, his soon-to-be Houston teammate Battier held his ground in the paint and took a painful charge that had Yao stomping his feet and complaining to the referee.

“I told Yao that was the last time in my career that I would ever take a charge from him,” said a laughing Battier. “Not even in practice. I can check that experience off my list. From now on, we’re teammates.”

Yao shook his head.

“Maybe give him the charge, but give me the two points,” he said. “I think maybe FIBA should change the rules.”

Reigning Olympic champs Argentina had an easy time with Lebanon earlier today, winning 107-72. Lebanese PM Fuad Saniora spoke out against Israel’s current bombing campaign yesterday, but he was strangely silent on the matter of Manu going all floppy.