China Kashgar end Day 1 with rout of Al Shorta
Foreign reinforcements Darius Adams and Andray Blatche both scored in double-figures to lead the way for Kashgar, which is looking to win China’s fourth Champions Cup title. The Chinese built a lead of as high as 34 points in their maiden win of the tournament. Justin Hawkins paced Al Shorta with a game-high 32 points.
Turning Point: Kashgar last trailed in this game a 4-6 with 8:03 left in the first quarter before they uncorked a 20-2 blast that broke the game open and left the Iraqis in the cold. The Chinese were ahead by 13 at the end of the first period, and they never looked back after that.
Stats Don't Lie: China had the size advantage in this match up, and they exploited it to the hilt. The Flying Tigers outrebounded Al Shorta, 59-41, with Blatche, Zhou Qi, Sun Tonglin, Sun Mingyang and Abudushalamu Abudurexiti each grabbing at least 6 boards. China Kashgar also outscored Al Shorta in the paint, 50-24.
Game Hero: Adams was pretty much on target in this encounter. He connected four times from beyond the arc on his way to 23 points, but he also laced that with 7 assists, 4 rebounds and a steal. Nobody on Al Shorta’s roster could really put the shackles on him, and the end result was a W for the home team.
The Bottom Line: Kashgar are hoping to win on home soil, and they started off on the right foot with this convincing win over Al Shorta. They remain favorites in their next couple of games against Al Ahli and Barsy Atyrau, and are the clear favorites to top Group B. Al Shorta, for their part, have a chance to bounce back tomorrow as they take on ASEAN Basketball League (ABL) champions Malaysia Dragons.