Hoopsters land gently in China

After a 16-hour journey the national basketball team members arrived in Beijing and tried immediately to acclimatize themselves. Greece trained lightly for two hours yesterday afternoon as coach Panayiotis Yiannakis wants to make their arrival in the new time zone as smooth as possible. Tomorrow the national team faces Croatia in a friendly game, four days before the beginning of the Olympic basketball tournament. Separately, the captain of the Under-18 national team that won the European Championship last Sunday, Nikos Pappas, has agreed to move to Spanish club Bilbao. The young guard cost the Basques 200,000 euros to purchase him from Panellinios and he will play in Spain for the next three years. Pappas will be joined at Bilbao by Olympiakos’s Lithuanian guard Renaldas Seibutis, who was considered surplus to the Piraeus club’s requirements.