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China claims back-to-back win at FIBA Asia Championship

Xinhua | Updated: 2013-08-07 11:33

MANILA - Defending champion China defeated India 79-45 for the second consecutive victory in Group F at the round two of the 27th Asian Men's Basketball Championship here on Tuesday, while Iran and Chinese Taiepi are the only two teams staying unbeaten.

China lost two key players before the match against India. Former NBA player Yi Jianlian strained his thigh muscle before the tournament and only played China's opening match against South Korea and point guard Liu Xiaoyu injured his back in Monday's match against Kazakhstan.

Young players came out to play the key role in China's second victory in the second stage. Wang Zhelin and Guo Ailun, both 19-year-old, combined 34 points to lead China.

Guo scored nine of his 16 points in the final quarter, while Wang had nine rebounds and three steals, despite his match-high 18 points.

"We fought for the win and played as we wanted," said Wang. "I only did what the coaches told me."

China outscored India 23-6 in the second quarter to set a lead of 25 points by halftime and enlarged it to 31 before the final period.

Veteran Wang Zhizhi had 13 points in his nine minutes and 12 seconds playing time. Amjyot Singh led India with 16 points but was the only Indian to score in double digit.

China beat India in all fields except free throw percentage. India made in 10 of their 14 free throw attempts while China missed 11 out of 31.

"We're missing two important players but we controlled the situation," said Chinese head coach Panagiotis Giannakis. "We got better after the sixth minute and my players performed with good focus. It's good for young players."

"We want to make Yi fresh and healthy. Maybe he will play in tomorrow's match. He needs to go on court before the knockout stage," added Giannakis.

Chinese Taipei notched a narrow 79-76 victory over Japan to keep its unbeaten run. Tseng Wen-ting led Chinese Taipei with 19 points while Lin Chih-cheih had 16 and six rebounds. Tien Lei and Chen Shih-chieh added 10 points apiece.

Two-time champion Iran's second-half run buried Bahrain and improved their second round group result to 4-0. Leading by only three point at halftime, Iran blew out their competition with a 45- 29 spread between the third and fourth quarter, to notch a 75-56 victory and a clean 4-0 slate in Group F.

Sammad Nikkah Bahrami led Iran with 17 points, while Asghar Kardoust and Hamed Afagh added 12 and 15 points respectively. Mahdi Kamrany scored nine points and added 10 assists. Oshin Sahakian hauled in 10 boards.

In Tuesday's other matches, Jordan picked up its first win in the second round after beating winless Hong Kong, China 80-54.

Marcus Douthit hurt his knee in the third quarter but the Philippines was still too strong for Qatar as the host won 80-70.

South Korea defeated Kazakhstan 71-47 to stay second in Group F.

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