Basketball: Leslie breaks pain barrier


Monday 22 July 1996 23:02

The American women's basketball team showed some of the dazzling moves of their male counterparts on Sunday when they beat Cuba 101-84. The gold medal favourites were a little cautious at first, but after Lisa Leslie received a painful blow to the head - she called it "a wake-up call" - they pulled away.

Point guard Dawn Staley contributed seven spectacular assists. "I think Dawn really made some fans for women's basketball today with her passes and her plays," Tara Van Derveer, the US coach, said.

The defending champions, Russia, used their size advantage to beat Japan 73-63, but may have lost their starting backcourt of Svetlana Antipova and Irina Sumnikova through injury. Brazil had four players in double figures while Canada had none in the South Americans' 69-56 victory, while Australia, wearing distinctive skintight outfits, scored a 76-61 triumph over South Korea.

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