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China rips Angola, puts more pressure on Phl

Photo courtesy of FIBA

China delivered a strong third-quarter rally to book an 83-74 win over Angola in the classification phase of the FIBA Basketball World Cup on Thursday at the Smart Araneta Coliseum.

Big man Hu Jingjiu stepped up while Hu Mingxhuan came up with timely baskets for the Chinese, who became the second Asian team to post a victory in this prestigious 32-nation tournament.

Naturalized player Kyle Anderson was also impressive, dropping 17 points, seven rebounds and four assists for China, which is being mentored by Serbian tactician Sasa Djordjevic.

With that, Gilas Pilipinas is pressured to win its remaining matches to keep its dream of earning an automatic Olympic berth alive.

Gilas are still battling dangerous South Sudan at press time before confronting China on Saturday in a match that could either make or break their dream of returning to the Olympics for the first time since 1972 in Munich.

Bashed by fans back home for failing to win a single game in the first round, the Chinese delivered a 24-14 run in the third period to gain a 69-59 lead entering the final quarter.

They padded their lead to as many as 16, 78-62, off a dunk by Hu with 5:02 left.

Angola coach Pep Claros admitted that the Chinese came up with a good defensive game plan.

“It’s obvious they played zone,” Claros, whose wards shot a terrible 5-of-26 for 19 percent from three-point territory, told Daily Tribune.

“They collapsed on us, their big frontline and they played really hard. We had a lot of trouble in the second half and they deserved to win.”

“They took advantage of the fact that we’re not a very good shooting team and maybe, some of our players started to feel the pressure. They even lost their confidence.”

Childe Dundao fired 17 points, eighth assists and three rebounds while National Basketball Association player Bruno Fernando had 16 points and six rebounds for the Angolans, whose lone win in the first round came at the expense of the Filipinos.

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