Connect with us

Hi, what are you looking for?

Tiebreaker Times
Photo by

2021 FIBA Asia Cup

China routs Japan to open FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers campaign

China successfully returned to international play following a long hiatus by way of a wire-to-wire conquest of Japan, 66-57, in the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers, Wednesday at the AUF Sports and Cultural Center in Pampanga.

Team Dragon has finally come back into action since hosting the prestigious 2019 World Cup but they were quick to shake off some rust, seizing control of the match early before withstanding a late uprising for a victorious debut.

Zhou Peng top-scored for the Chinese with 16 points on 6-of-12 shooting, while Shen Zijie produced 11 markers and five rebounds as all but two of Coach Du Feng’s chargers chipped in at least three points in the victory.

“In the first half, we were a solid team. However, in the second half, we made unnecessary turnovers, so they caught up. But in the end, we won the game,” said Du through a translator post-game.

China began pulling away in the second half, and a dunk by Shen off a Zhao Jiwei assist gave them a comfortable 55-35 lead early in the final frame.

But the Akatsuki Five got the rhythm it was looking for in the first three quarters, unloading 13 consecutive points — capped by a Makoto Hiejima three-pointer — to trim the gap to just seven, 51-58, with 4:08 on the clock.

The breaks, however, just could not go their way. Hugh Watanabe was called for a foul on Shen, and the latter split his freebies.

And the toughest blow came when naturalized forward Gavin Edwards fouled out with 3:11 to go, leading to another split from Shen.

#ReadMore  Marc Pingris gives Magnolia a huge shot against Ginebra: 'Walang mga fans eh!'

The Japanese faltered since. It could not buy a basket, and the opposition took advantage as Peng swished in a jumper before Zhao sank a breakaway lay-up to bring China’s lead back to 13, 64-51, with 1:46 left to play.

“This is only the first game and we have to adapt to the pace,” said Du, who has been with the Chinese men’s program since 2017.

Japan was led by Hiejima and Kosuke Kanamaru with 12 points apiece, while Tenketsy Harimoto chimed in 11 in their first game back since beating Chinese Taipei in the Qualifiers’ first window last February 2020.

It was a foul-plagued debut for Edwards, who had eight points, six rebounds, three assists, two steals, and a block in 21 minutes of game time.

The East Asian rivals are set to meet once again in the tilt’s penultimate game date on Saturday, June 19, at 2:30 p.m. But before that China takes on Chinese-Taipei tomorrow while Japan takes on the same opponent on Friday.

The Scores:

China 66 – Zhou 16, Shen 11, Hu 6, Ren 6, Zhao JW 6, Xu 6, Wu 4, Lu 4, Zhao YH 4, Zhang 3, Wang 0, Liu 0.

Japan 57 – Hiejima 12, Kanamaru 12, Harimoto 11, Edwards 8, Ando 6, Watanabe 3, Vendrame 2, Takeuchi 2, Schafer 1, Togashi 0, Ando 0, Takeuchi 0.

Quarterscores: 20-12, 32-20, 50-35, 66-57.

Written By

Oftentimes on the sidelines. Forever a student of the game. Morayta-bred.

You May Also Like


Bobby Ray Parks and the Nagoya Diamond Dolphins completed a Christmas weekend sweep of Niigata in the 2022-23 B.League Division I season at Dolphins...


Despite Bobby Ray Parks playing limited minutes, Nagoya still routed Matthew Wright and Kyoto, taking an 85-61 win in the 2022-23 B.League Season, Wednesday...


Decades of heartbreaks and frustrations finally ended as Korea ruled the FIBA U18 Asian Championship 2022 following their 77-73 win over Japan in the...

2021 FIBA Asia Cup

One of the three hosts of the 2023 FIBA World Cup will not be able to field a team in the global meet. Indonesia’s...

3x3 Basketball

Gilas Pilipinas 3×3’s stand against a young China fell short, bowing 18-20, in the bronze medal match of the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup,...

3x3 Basketball

Facing a world-class team for the first time in the 2022 FIBA 3×3 Asia Cup, Gilas Pilipinas 3×3 were given a lesson. The PBA...

2021 FIBA Asia Cup

China suffered a tough blow leading up to the 2022 FIBA Asia Cup. Per reports, Zhou Qi and several members of the team tested...


Troy Rosario was not able to rejoin TNT immediately after his tour of duty with Gilas Pilipinas in the 31st Southeast Asian Games in...