CHINA continued to overcome injuries to key players as it thrashed India, 79-45, for its second straight win in the second round preliminaries of the 27th Fiba-Asia Championship on Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena.
The reigning 15-time champions found themselves trailing early on, 8-12, but never looked back again the moment Sun Yue scored on an emphatic two-handed slam off a fastbreak play, 15-12.
The Chinese hiked their record to 2-2 as Wang Zhelin, Guo Ailun, and the veteran Wang Zhizhi continued to hold the fort in the absence of injured players Yi Jianlian and Liu Xiaoyu.
Zhelin topscored with 18 points, while Zhizhi and Ailun combined for 29 points as the Chinese prime themselves up for the knockout quarterfinals not as the top two seeded team in Group F.
“We’re getting better,” said China’s Greek coach Panagiotis Giannakis, who remained unperturbed despite his team's current struggles..
“How many teams here don’t have two of their best players?” he said referring to Yi and Liu. “Hopefully, we’ll try to give them little playing minutes tomorrow (today). Hope to keep them fresh for the knockout phase.”
Yi sat out for the fourth straight game as he continue to recuperate from a groin injury while Liu didn’t sat out for the first time after suffering a bad fall in China’s 73-67 win over Kazakshtan on Monday night.
While Yi continuous to practice with the team, Giannakis said Liu had a `day off’ following that harrowing fall when he tried to drive past Kazakh Leonid Bondarovich.
It was the second straight loss for India for a 0-4 record.
China (79) - Wang Zhelin 18, Guo 16, Wang Zhizhi 13, Zhou 9, Zhu 7, Li 5, Zhang 4, Sun 4, Wang Shipeng 3, Liu 0, Chen 0.
India (45) - Amjyot 16, Amritpal 9, Grewal 9, Pethani 5, Bhriguvanshi 2, Bharama 2, Tadwinder 2, Kadam 0, Pratham 0, Kaushik 0, Singh 0, Joginder 0.
Quarterscores: 22-14; 45-20; 60-29; 79-45