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25 August, 2023
10 September
1 Kaier Li (CHN)
31/08/2023
Game Report
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Li Kaier and Hu Jinqiu charge China past Angola for first victory

MANILA (Philippines) - China took a big step towards reaching the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament as they defeated Angola 83-76 in the Group M of the Classification 17-32 for their first win at the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2023.

China rode the outstanding performances of Li Kaier, Hu Jinqiu and Hu Mingxuan - the trio  combined for 53 points - in rallying from a 10-point deficit with a 24-14 third quarter. It was China's first victory over Angola at the World Cup following losses in 1990 and 2002 and evened the teams' record to 3-3 all time. 

Game Highlights

 

Turning Point: China trailed by 10 points in the second quarter but turned the game around after the break. The Asians led 61-57 with 2 minutes left in the third quarter but then reeled off a 15-2 run spanning the final two quarters for a 74-59 lead. Angola tried to fight back but China had an answer each time.

TCL Player of the Game: China had four players score in double figures and the TCL Player of the Game went to Hu Jinqiu as the big man scored 20 points on 8-of-10 shots and 4-of-5 free throws to go along with 3 rebounds, 2 assists and 1 block.

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Stats Don't Lie: China held Angola to just 40 percent shooting including 19 percent from long range. The Asians shot 56 percent on two-pointers and produced 43 points off the bench compared to 20 for Angola.

Bottom Line:  China will look to make it two straight wins with a hugely important game in the fight for the Olympics and the Olympic Qualifying Tournament as they face off against fellow Asians China on Saturday September 2. Angola meanwhile must bounce back as they will take on South Sudan earlier on Saturday.

They Said: "It was a very tough night for us. The players finished late last night against Puerto Rico and that was my biggest concern. We didn't have a lot of time to recover our freshness. But I think they did an exceptional job. I am proud of them, how they stayed focused. Our sloppy start was due to a little bit of tension. But after we talked in a couple of timeouts and released some of that and just started playing basketball we were capable to play against Angola. Angola put us in difficulty because of their low post play. We knew the offensive rebounds was going to be the key. We managed to deal with that with a great effort in the second half. We slowed them down with some zone defense and made them think and the guys did a great job." - China coach Aleksandar Djordjevic

"We followed the game plan and played with our characteristics. We will keep fighting until the end. We have one more game." - China forward Hu Jinqui

"It feels great, man. It feels awesome. It’s nice to finally be on the board with such a great group of guys, so we'll remember this. We haven't really quit or given up. We've worked hard and we didn't want to go home without a win." - China forward Li Kaier

"We started pretty good defensively. We started struggling after 15 minutes. They played zone defense and we struggle against zone defense. We didn't shoot well. We didn't attack well. But also, our defense was not good enough to keep up a consistency." - Angola coach Pep Claros

"Today we didn't have the same consistency on defense as we have had. We only played well the first 15 minutes. They scored 45 points in the first half and we never expected to give up 90 points to anybody. These things some times happen. We will take a lesson from this for the future." - Angola forward Leonel Paulo

Press Conference:

 

FIBA