Zhou Qi makes strong Qualifiers debut as China comes from behind to beat Japan
CLARK CITY (Philippines) - Undefeated China comes from behind riding the strong performance of their frontcourt to beat a sharpshooting Japan squad 90-84.
In the previous matchup, Japan fell behind 20-12 in the first quarter to China and the slow start was too big for them to overcome. Here in the rematch, they made sure to start with urgency and jumped out to a 29-21 lead in the first 10 minutes.
Coach Julio Lamas’ squad shot the lights out, especially from the three-point range where they went 14-35.
However, coach De Feng’s team was able to counter with some sharpshooting of their own, going for 7-15 from downtown.
China then went to their advantage of size and physicality in the fourth quarter to build up a 17-4 run to close out the game and complete a come-from-behind win. Zhao Yanhao made his only three-pointer in the game to give China a 7-point advantage with one minute left to seal the deal for their third straight win.
The new additions for each team made their presences felt, adding on to what was already a competitive clash between the two teams.
Ryan Rossiter continues to impress in a Japan national team jersey, posting an all-around performance of 15 points, 4 rebounds, 6 assists, and 3 steals. He’s been key to connecting the half-court play for Japan and should continue to be moving forward.
China also finally enjoyed the presence of big man Zhou Qi, who immediately went to work. He continuously applied pressure on Japan’s frontcourt to record 18 points on 7-11 shooting with 12 rebounds and 2 blocks.
Yuki Togashi was also impressive for Japan, scoring a team-high 17 points on just 9 shots. The diminutive point guard provided the spark that the team needed late in the game, even though it wasn’t enough.
From China, another outstanding performer was fellow big man Shen Zijie. He had left the previous game against Chinese Taipei with what seemed like an injury but came back strong and healthy for this matchup to post a solid 13 points while missing only one shot.
China remains undefeated in Group B with 3 wins, while Japan is now at 2-2.