With a blowout of China’s basketball team on Saturday, the Brazilians recorded their third win of the preliminary round and have secured a spot in the quarterfinals. This was by far Brazil’s best overall game of the Olympics, routing China in a 98-59 victory. Brazil never trailed, and China didn’t score its first basket until over three minutes into the game.
Anderson Varejao scored the first bucket of the game, finishing with nine points and 13 rebounds in 19 minutes. Varejao hasn’t been getting as much playing time as he should due to it being the preliminary round, but with what we are seeing in Varejao’s play is that he is continuing where he left off last season with the Cavaliers before he got injured.
Varejao is averaging 8.2 points and 7.5 rebounds and is shooting the ball very accurately. Saturday the Cleveland power forward shot at a 50 percent clip and made three of four free throws. More importantly, he has been one of the most important defensive assets for Team Brazil through its first four preliminary round games. Wild Thing accounted for 28.9 percent of Brazil’s rebounds in the victory over China, and also grabbed 29.6 percent of the defensive boards.
In handing China its four straight loss of the Olympics, Brazil forgot about the thrilling loss to Russia on Thursday and bounced right back with their strongest performance of the tournament. With holding China to 59 points, Brazil bettered their mark of averaging 66.7 points allowed. The Brazilians blocked China shots three times and stole the ball five times.
Brazil will play Spain on Monday at 3 p.m., in the final Group B preliminary game.