China were defeated by Australia 71-48 in the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifier game on Sunday in Melbourne.
However, the outcome has no bearing on whether the two countries move on to the following round of the qualification competition.
Most observers were taken aback by China’s 26-3 defeat in the fourth quarter as they tried to process what had just happened on the court.
In the first three quarters, Chinese players handled the Boomers so well on both ends that they built seven-point and six-point leads in the first and third quarters, respectively. Yet, with the final quarter started and everything started to go in Australia’s favor, they all of a sudden lost their sense of direction.
Although the Chinese players’ limited strength may have contributed, Australian players appeared to be making just as much of an effort as their Chinese counterparts based on their insane double-teaming of Zhou Qi. The Chinese players seemed to lose their motivation. In every 50/50 period, they halted to sustain the quick offensive turnover and lost the ball.
Even without so many of their NBA players, the Australian squad is still better than China, but Sunday’s game went above and beyond that. In the opening three quarters, the Chinese players didn’t exhibit any signs of disintegration. Instead, they played a smart but strong defense. On offence, they made a lot of sensible decisions, but when conventional strategies fell flat, they had the courage to drive.
Despite the loss, China had an incredible start
In the first three periods of the match, the Chinese national squad displayed a lot of promising traits. Throughout this phase of the World Cup qualification campaign, Zhu Junlong, who had begun to draw more notice, continued to showcase his offensive skills. He was adept at making clutch 3-pointers and understood how to take use of his own offensive threat to open up scoring chances for his teammates.
Zhao Rui, who started alongside Guo Ailun for China in the back court, provided the most offensive aggression. Zhao is more determined while chasing the rim and looking for physical contact than Guo is athletically. When playing against opponents who are on the same level as China, this kind of playing strategy will be crucial.
After Zhao, it was Zhuo who took the responsibility to outperform in front of Australians. The fact that Zhou was on the court allowed his teammates to make more open 3-point shots than their competitors in the opening three quarters. Zhou retaliated against the Boomers for letting their guards on him in his few possessions by sinking a 3-pointer and a jumper in the low post. He became the final defender as a result of his switching decisions, defensive coverage, and extra attention to each opponent’s player.
Next Assignment for China
On July 4, China’s final match of this World Cup qualification round will be against Chinese Taipei.