Wang Zhelin (L) of China goes for a basket during a Group B match against Australia in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers in Melbourne, Australia on July 3, 2022. (Photo by Bai Xue/Xinhua)
Australia played big in the final quarter to beat China once again in the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers.
SYDNEY, July 3 (Xinhua) -- Australia once again defeated China in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers, with the home team making a late breakaway and winning 71-48 on Sunday.
The game was tight in the first quarter, as China managed to take an 18-16 lead with a series of free throws and strong defense.
In the second quarter, China continued to hold off Australia, stopping the team from scoring for the first four and a half minutes. But the Boomers managed to push back, bringing the score to a nail-biting 30-29 in their favor at halftime.
Both teams continued trading points in the third quarter, and the game went into the final quarter at 45-45.
Australia raced ahead in the final quarter by scoring 14 unanswered points. Giving little room to China, the Boomers secured the win with a lead of over 20 points.
Australia head coach Brian Warwick Goorjian said he was worried how his side were going to put points on the board given China's strong defense.
"The game loosened up when we started hitting shots from the perimeter...to win all three of these games is just a real good feeling and I'm real proud of the group," said Goorjian.
China coach Du Feng highlighted that the Asian qualifiers and the upcoming FIBA Asia Cup presented an opportunity for the newly-formed team to prove themselves.
"I hope that these four Asian qualifying matches are able to get the team in a good state of mind, let them see their weak spots, and prepare for the upcoming tournament," he said.
China will play their final game in the first round of the World Cup Asian qualifiers against Chinese Taipei on Monday evening. ■