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Sixers joy in China groove

ADELAIDE 36er fans probably were the happiest tonight as Daniel Johnson and Ramone Moore stood out during the NBL Select's Game 1 loss to China in Qingdao.

DJ, who finally cracked the Boomers team for FIBA World Cup qualifiers last year, led the NBL's finest (available) with a 20-point, 11-rebound double-double in the 77-89 loss.

Moore knocked down 15 points on 7-of-9 shooting, with Perth's Mitch Norton and NZ Breaker Corey Webster scoring 12 and 11 respectively.

Fang Shuo, when he wasn't busy re-aligning he chairs on Team China's bench, led the hosts with 20 points.

"We came out strong and played a strong first quarter, but Team China had a great second quarter which was really the difference in the game," NBL Select coach Trevor Gleeson said.

Ahead 23-19 at the first break before extending that to 25-19 in the second, Select could not withstand a withering 16-2 run paced by Fang Shuo's long-range shooting and a roaring home crowd.

DOWN IN GAME 1: Mitch Norton goes down (in the uniform John West rejected...)

The game had a couple of those all-too familiar moments when playing in China, and it wasn't a huge surprise when Webster copped a technical foul for throwing a ball at an opponent who had just picked up a foul after being way-too-overly aggressive.

Select pegged the deficit back to five late and definitely will be better for the run in Game 2 of the three-game series in Nantong tomorrow.

Game 2 will be broadcast live on FOX SPORTS (available on Foxtel and Kayo) and NBL TV, with Game 3 from Changzhou on Sunday live on NBL TV, delayed on FOX SPORTS and streaming on demand on Kayo.

Meanwhile in other NBL news, championship-winning Breaker and FIBA Asia Cup All Star Five selection, Shea Ili has been released by New Zealand with a year to run on his contract, as per his request.

Ili strongly is being linked to Melbourne United, where he would reunite with his past Breakers and Tall Blacks coaches Dean Vickerman and Paul Henare.

Jun 19

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