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Zhou Qi, Wang Zhelin help China to 77-72 over Tunisia in Stankovic Cup

Xinhua | Updated: 2018-08-15 14:28
Zhou Qi and Wang Zhelin. [Photo/VCG]

SHENZHEN - Houston Rockets center Zhou Qi scored 22 points and Wang Zhelin made 16, as Team Red of the Chinese men's basketball national team defeated Tunisia 77-72 in their first match at the Stankovic Continental Cup 2018 here on Tuesday.

The guests, who have won all six World Cup African preliminaries so far, started the match well, taking a 5-2 lead. Wang Zhilin answered with six points in the paint to help the hosts take the lead. Though Tunisia's Omar Mouhli hit three three-pointers, China still finished the first quarter 25-18 in front.

The hosts took a double digit lead after Wang Zhelin scored in the second quarter. The Tunisians cut the deficit down to six after a 6-0 streak, before guard Sun Minghui shone with two layups and an assist to help China take a 44-33 lead before the halftime interval.

With two 9-2 streaks at the beginning of the third and fourth quarter, the tough Tunisians led again 67-65 by the start of the final period. But Team Red soon took control again, with ten straight points by Zhou Qi, Wang Zhelin and Sun Minghui helping secure a 77-72 victory.

In his first game since joining Team Red this year, Zhou Qi had a game-high 22 points, with six rebounds. Wang Zhelin scored 16 points, while Sun Minghui added 14. Both Mabroud and Mouhli contributed 16 for Tunisia.

"We had a great first half, terrible third quarter and a dominating fourth quarter," commented Team Red's head coach Li Nan, who also reserved praise for new additions Zhou Qi and Ding Yanyuhang. "Their debuts were good. I hope they can push the team to a higher level."

The tournament's schedule sees Team Red take a breather while Team Blue of the Chinese men's basketball national team play next against Finland on Wednesday.

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