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6 Tianju He (CHN), 16 Roger Ray Pogoy (PHI)
Game Report
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China hand Philippines third loss in a row

TEHRAN (FIBA Asia Challenge 2016) – China soundly beat the Philippines, 75-65, and gave Gilas Pilipinas their third taste of defeat at the FIBA Asia Challenge 2016 in Tehran, Iran.

China seemed to pull away when they ended the first half with a 10-0 run and led, 39-26, at the halftime break, but the Philippines still had a lot of fight left in them and kept the game close till the late stages. Coach Li Nan’s wards, though, made the bigger plays down the stretch and repulsed every Gilas rally to preserve their third straight triumph.

Turning Point: For a moment, Gilas looked ready to pull the rug from under China after cutting their 13-point halftime deficit to just 6 points entering the fourth period. The Chinese, however, started the final frame strong, going on a 10-2 run to raise the lead back to double-digits, 67-53, with just 5:39 to go. That seemingly took the wind out of the Filipinos’ sails as China were on cruise control the rest of the way.

Stats Don't Lie: China maximized their size advantage in this game, especially in terms of rebounding. Coach Li’s squad outworked the Filipinos on the boards, 47-35, thanks mainly to Zou Yuchen, who collared a baker’s dozen. 18-year-old center Hu Jinqiu also did well in this department, grabbing 7 rebounds.

Game Hero: Speaking of Hu, the 2.10m big man once again dominated inside. Hu tossed in 21 points on 8-of-13 field goal shooting to constantly frustrate the Filipinos, who have had trouble containing opposing big men since the tournament kicked off a few days ago. For sure, coach Li knew this, and sought to exploit it by going to Hu as much as he could.

The Bottom Line: The Philippines are now on the verge of elimination, and they face a must-win situation tomorrow against Kazakhstan if they are to remain alive for a Quarter-Finals berth. China, for their part, continue to roll, with the twin tower combo of Zou and Hu at the helm. They will, however, have to work extra hard tomorrow against India, who are certainly bigger than Gilas Pilipinas, to notch their fourth win.