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China’s shooting spree gets them past Kazakhstan
TEHRAN (2016 FIBA Asia Challenge) – China’s hot shooting from the field propelled them past Central Asian foe Kazakhstan, 106-85, in the final Group A game of FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 in Tehran, Iran. China preserved their unbeaten record and kept Kazakhstan winless after three days of competition.
Turning Point: Kazakhstan started the game in promising fashion, even leading, 20-13, at one point in the first quarter. China, however, got their act together in the second period, outscoring the Kazakhs, 33-20, to take an 11-point lead into the halftime break. Coach Li Nan’s wards never looked back after that.
Stats Don't Lie: China’s 55.6% field goal shooting was just too much for Kazakhstan, who weren’t too shabby themselves, making 46.2% of their own shots. All but one player fielded in by coach Li scored, with seven players shooting 50% or better from the floor. Team Dragon also caught fire from beyond the arc, drilling in 11 three-pointers. He Tianju and Zhao Yanhao each made 3 triples in the convincing win.
Game Hero: Like their first game, it was young big man Hu Jinqiu who was most impressive. The 18-year-old center from Zhejiang was a dominant force in the paint for the Chinese, scoring 19 points, hauling down 7 rebounds and shooting 7-of-9 from the floor. Hu has slowly become the team’s best offensive option around the basket, and his play has even drawn comparisons with that of Yi Jianlian.
The Bottom Line: China played true to form in their trouncing of Kazakhstan, but they will have take their play a notch higher in the next round as they face stiffer challenges from the Group B teams. Kazakhstan haven’t been eliminated from Quarter-Finals contention yet, but they’ll have to win at least twice in the next round to have even a sliver of a chance to make it.