Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Bucks Playing Internationally

Yi torched the smaller Poles for 28 and 10, but had little help

This is a big week for Bucks-affiliated players and their national teams, with no less than five players with Bucks ties donning their countries' jerseys in the coming days. Of course most notably will be Michael Redd playing for Team USA, which begins its Tournament of Americas against Venezuela tonight.

Meanwhile in Turkey, Yi Jianlian (China), Ersan Ilyasova (Turkey), Damir Markota (Croatia) and Szymon Szewceck (Poland) will be participating in the EFES Pilsen World Cup 6 tournament featuring Turkey, China, Poland, Latvia, Croatia, and Serbia. It looks like each team will play two games and then the top four will advance to the semifinals, but I haven't been able to find a good English-language news story on the tournament, so bear with me.

In any case, Yi scored 28 along with 10 rebounds and two blocks in 35 minutes (video) in China's 83-66 loss to Poland this morning. Yi shot 11/19 from the floor and 6/7 from the line, scoring on an array of post moves, dunks, layups and a mid-range jumper. I missed the game but judging from the highlights the Poles really didn't have the size or athleticism to defend a guy like Yi. The loss will make it hard for China to advance to the tournament's elimination rounds, given they face a stiff test tomorrow against a Serbian team that will feature Darko Milicic among others. Long-forgotten 2003 Bucks second rounder Szymon Szewczyk is on the Polish roster, though I haven't heard whether or not he played. UPDATE: Szewcyck scored 9 points along with 3 rebounds and 1 assist.

Ilyasova's host Turkish team is playing right now against Andris Biedrins and Latvia and face Markota's Croatian team tomorrow. Croatia also plays Latvia on Friday. Unlike last year's World Championships when Ilyasova benefited from the absence of Hedo Turkoglu and Mehmet Okur, Turkey will field a full-strength side which could limit Ilysavoa's minutes somewhat.

I'll keep you posted on the results, and if you want to check out the action most of the games are being carried by Chinese television, which you can stream via Sopcast.

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