China fell to the Philippines 96-87 in their first game of the FIBA Asia Cup on Wednesday.
China head coach Du Feng fielded a lineup including Guo Ailun, Liu Xiaoyu, Zhou Peng, Ren Junfei and Han Dejun. In the beginning, China tipped off and got possession, getting two points in as many minutes. But five fouls in less than three minutes meant that China trailed after the first quarter 26-16.
China did no better in the second quarter. At the end of the first half, China was 14 points behind the Philippines. In the second half, Du Feng managed an oppressive defense. China caught up and nearly leveled the score with at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, China continued to stay on the offensive, and settled the score by to go up one point on their opponents. However, the situation did not last long. The Philippines settled the score again. China failed at consecutive three chances and lost it by nine points.
Guo Ailun got 18 points, Zhou Peng got 17 and Hu Jinqiu added 13.
Du Feng said that China was not supprised by the result: "We got well prepared before the games. We also predicted the result. As is known to all, we have only four players who had joined the Asian Men's Championship. The rest of the players played in this kind of competition for the first time, and lacked the psychological qualities needed...We lost the best time at the beginning. At the second half our players' attitude improved. We were hopeful that we could win the game, but made too many fouls."
In other games, Iraq and Syria each won by one. Iraq won their game against Qatar 75-66. Syria fell narrowly to Jordan, 68-66. In another game, Iran thrashed India, 101-54.
The FIBA Asia Cup will be held from August 8 to 20 in Lebanon with 16 teams participating. China will take on Qatar and Iraq on the 11th and 13th in the following group games.