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World Basketball Championships Begin With a Yugoslav Victory - 2002-08-30

The World Basketball Championships have begun in the mid-western U.S. state of Indiana with the preliminary round. In Indianapolis defending champion Yugoslavia has opened with an impressive victory over Angola.

Yugoslavia rolled past Angola at the Conseco Field House Thursday, 113-63, to open the World Basketball Championships. The defending champions had eight players scoring in double figures, led by Pedrag Stojakovic with 13. Stojakovic plays for the Sacramento Kings of the U.S. National Basketball Association, and is one of many players from the NBA in this tournament.

Valter Monteiro provided one of the few highlights for Angola. He was the game's leading scorer with 16 points.

Yugoslav coach Aco Petrovic said his team is just getting started.

"This is our first game we were waiting for in regards to preparation. And we are looking forward to playing against some quality opponents such as Spain and Canada. And hopefully we will play as well as we did tomorrow against Spain," Mr. Petrovic said.

In the other early game played at the nearby RCA dome, Brazil had no trouble defeating Lebanon, 102-73.

In other early games, Puerto Rico edged Turkey, 78-75 and Spain defeated Canada, 85-54. Later Thursday, China faces Germany, the United States plays Algeria, New Zealand tangles with Russia and Argentina goes against Venezuela.