US team doesn't let brawl cancel trip

Updated: 2011-08-20 07:53

By Wang Kaihao (China Daily)

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BEIJING - An 11-day goodwill trip to China by the Georgetown University Hoyas men's basketball team is continuing despite a brawl with a Chinese professional team during an exhibition game on Thursday night in Beijing.

"The team will absolutely continue their trip," Christina Ciocca, a staff member from the Georgetown delegation, told China Daily in an e-mail.

"We look forward to our time at the Nike Festival of Sport and in the city of Shanghai."

A brawl erupted between the Georgetown players and China's Bayi team in their game at the National Olympic Sports Center with about 9 minutes and 32 seconds left in the final quarter and the score tied at 64.

Bayi players complained before the fight that the Hoyas' style of play was too rough, while the visitors were not happy with a 57-15 free-throw discrepancy in Bayi's favor.

Georgetown University Head Men's Basketball Coach John Thompson III and two of the team's student-athletes met with members of the Bayi Rockets on Friday morning, according to Georgetown University's athletics website.

Thompson, Bayi Head Coach Adejiang, and their team members shared a very cordial and friendly meeting.

The college delegation, about 50 people in total, took a Friday morning flight to Shanghai, the second and final destination in the Hoyas' first overseas visit since Thompson became the coach in 2004.

Michael Wang, special assistant to the chief operating officer of the university, said none of the players was injured, while another staff member who refused to give his name said none of the Hoyas' players was injured in the fight.

"Tonight, two great teams played a very competitive game that unfortunately ended after a heated exchanges with both teams," Thompson said after the game. "We sincerely regret that this situation occurred."

"We remain grateful for the opportunity our student-athletes are having to engage in a sport they love here in China, while strengthening their understanding of a nation we respect and admire at Georgetown University, Thompson added.

Nobody from Bayi was available for comment.

It was the Hoyas' second game in China, one day after they topped the Chinese Basketball Association's Shanxi Dragons, 98-81.

That game was attended by US Vice-President Joe Biden, who arrived in Beijing hours before to meet with newly inaugurated US Ambassador to China Gary Locke.

According to Georgetown's new itinerary, it is scheduled to play a game against the Liaoning Dinosaurs on Sunday.

Georgetown is scheduled to play its final game on Monday against the Shandong Flaming Bulls.


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