Sat, 31 Jul 2021

MANILA, June 20 (Xinhua) -- Team China closed the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers campaign with four consecutive victories after beating Chinese Taipei 91-73 on Sunday, winning the top place in Group B and a 2021 FIBA Asia Cup quota.

China rested center Zhou Qi, who played a key role in the victory over Japan on Saturday. Another big man Shen Zijie stepped up to provide enough energy in the painted area. Shen finished with 18 points and 14 rebounds. Captain Zhou Peng had a team-best 21 points.

The first quarter went smooth in China's rhythm. Guards Zhao Jiwei, Hu Mingxuan and Xu Jie kept attacking the basket, allowing China a 28-16 advantage in the first period.

China's shooters struggled in the next two quarters, but Zhou rounded into form to help China extend the gap to more than 20 points in the final period.

Chinese Taipei made a couple of good baskets in the final minutes, but it was still not enough to stop China from winning all the four games on offer in the FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers.

Wu Chia-Chun had a team-high 13 points for Chinese Taipei.

China will stay in the Philippines before heading for Canada to play in the Tokyo Olympic qualifying tournament.

"We know that Canada and Greece are very strong teams in the basketball world," said coach Du Feng about his expectations on the following games in North America.

"I believe our guys will try their best to play good games," Du added.

Chinese point guard Zhao Jiwei wasn't so satisfied with his performance in the game.

"We had a very low start, but we just believe in each other and the result is satisfactory," Zhao added. "That will be a great help for us to improve our skills."

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