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China beat Philippines to capture Asia continental title and qualify for Rio Olympics
CHANGSHA-HUNAN (2015 FIBA Asia Championship) - China dominated for long stretches against a cold-shooting Philippines on Saturday to win the FIBA Asia Championship and qualify for the Rio de Janeiro Olympics.
The Chinese, who bowed out in the Quarter-Finals two years ago in Manila, completed an unbeaten run in Changsha-Hunan with a 78-67 triumph over a proud Filipino side for their 16th title in the competition.
The Philippines trailed by double digits in the first half but cut the deficit to eight early in the second and had several opportunities to draw even closer but failed to take advantage.
The hustle, quick rotations on defense and size of China won the day against a Filipino side that also finished runners-up to Iran two years ago in Manila.
Turning Point: Four minutes into the contest and the Philippines had a 15-10 lead but China reeled off 12 unanswered points and they stayed in front for the remainder of the contest.
Stats Don't Lie: The Philippines, unable to attack the rim inside because of China's size and tenacity, needed to hit some shots from three-point range but made just six of 24 (25 percent). China were nine of 24 (37.5 percent), with Li Gen three of four.
Game Hero: Zhou Qi, China's 19-year-old sensation, helped set the tone early on for the tournament hosts with seven points, seven rebounds and a swat of Andray Blatche, who didn't make an impact until the second half. Zhou finished with 16 points and 14 rebounds.
The Bottom Line: Since their come-from-behind win over Korea on the second day of the competition, China have been supremely confident and focused. There is much for the fans in the Far East to be excited about with an Olympic appearance next year, and because of the youngsters who will play there.