Wed, 17 Aug 2022

SYDNEY, July 1 (Xinhua) -- China's national basketball team has clutched a crucial victory against Chinese Taipei with a 94-58 win in their first matchup for the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers in the Australian city of Melbourne on Friday.

China took a nine-point lead in the first quarter as both teams tried to show their dominance on the court.

Chinese Taipei managed to close the gap in the second quarter by taking advantage of sloppy defence from their opponents, bringing the half-time score to 42-38.

The second half saw China take total control of the court, and secure a commanding lead of over 20 points in the third quarter. Little ground was given to Chinese Taipei in the final quarter as China soared past 90 points.

The team would now be looking for redemption in their Sunday rematch with Australia. China suffered a 76-69 loss to Australia on Thursday.

Speaking on court after the match, Chinese captain and former NBA player Zhou Qi said the victory was owed to the team's joint efforts, and said he was able to find his rhythm despite a rocky first half.

Chinese coach Du Feng said the team was still adapting to the rhythm since it was the first time in over two months they played official matches.

"I think the team was a bit uptight today, they made too many errors in the first half, 10 errors, which really hurt our chances," he said, adding that in the second half they began to find their stride especially in terms of defensive play.

China will face Chinese Taipei again on Monday night and on Sunday will face Australia in the Group B Asian qualifying tournament.

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