CHINA clinched its seat in the 2021 Fiba Asia Cup as it used a second half breakaway to down Chinese Taipei, 91-73, on Sunday at the Angeles University Foundation Gym.
Zhou Peng led the way with 21 points, six rebounds, four assists, one steal, and one block as the mainlanders swept all four of their assignments inside the Clark bubble to wrest the Group B lead in the qualifiers.
The win, a fitting follow-up to its 115-66 decimation of Chinese Taipei last Thursday, enabled China to join the Philippines, Korea, Lebanon, Bahrain, Iran, Syria, Jordan, Kazakhstan, and host Indonesia as early entrants to the 16-team field this August.
China last won the Fiba Asia Cup back in 2013.
Shen Zijie kept China afloat early on, scoring nine of his 18 points in the first quarter to set the tone for the rout. He also grabbed 14 rebounds for a double-double performance as they outrebounded the Taiwanese, 51 to 28.
The Chinese broke the floodgates open with a 27-point third quarter to erect a 23-point lead, 76-53, heading into the fourth period.
Despite the game already beyond reach, tensions rose in the final minute as hard fouls were whistled on China's Zhao Jiwei and Chinese Taipei's Li Hansheng.
Zhao did tally 12 points, six assists, three rebounds, and three steals in the conquest.
Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) Finals MVP Hu Mingxuan added 13 points, while Domestic MVP Wu Qian had 12 points, five boards, and three assists in a game where coach Du Feng sat out former Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi.
Wu Chiachun led Chinese Taipei with 13 points, two assists, and two steals as his side lost all of its three games in Clark.
Chinese Taipei sunk to 1-4 in Group B. It hopes to seal third place in the group and catch the last bus in the second round of the qualifiers in August.
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