BEIJING When it came to host China's participation in men's basketball at the Beijing Olympics, much was expected from the host team, its players, its coaches for that matter, the whole People's Republic of China.
But by suffering a lopsided 94-68 loss to Lithuania in Wednesday's quarterfinals, China finds itself in familiar territory for the second straight Summer Games.
"We came with determination," said center Yao Ming, who led China with 19 points despite facing double- and triple-team defenses for much of the game. "It's our courage that led us to today's position, but our capability is still a problem."
China head coach Jonas Kazlauskas noted identical top-eight Olympics finishes in both 2004 and 2008.
"One could say that maybe I spent four years here for nothing," he said. "But four years ago, we couldn't compete with some teams, and now we have a chance to win. We just need more experience."
And that experience comes with more Chinese players playing on top pro-league clubs in other countries, Kazlauskas said, adding "the first thing we need on the court is a world-class point guard."
Lithuania broke open a close game late in the first half en route to a 41-30 halftime lead, and then poured on the points in the second half as the margin neared 30 throughout most of the fourth quarter.
Sarunas Jasikevicius led Lithuania with 23 points, including 5-of-6 3-pointers, and six points.
ARGENTINA 80, GREECE 78: Defending champion Argentina advanced to Friday's semifinals behind Manu Ginobili's game-high 24 points and another 23 from Carlos Delfino.
Ginobili scored Argentina's final seven points, including the game-winning basket with 48 seconds remaining.
In its final Beijing contest, Greece was paced by Antonios Fotsis' double-double of 17 points and 10 rebounds.
SPAIN 51, CROATIA 38: With a 10-1 run to start the game, Spain never trailed and ousted Croatia by maintaining double-digit advantages nearly throughout the game.
Pau Gasol scored 20 points on 8-of-11 shooting from floor and grabbed 10 rebounds, with Felpie Reyes adding 13 points and Jose Calderon 10.Marko Banic paced Croatia with 15 points.
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