China crush Syria in FIBA World Cup qualifier

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China's point guard Guo Ailun goes up for a basket in the game.

China encountered little challenge in their FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian Qualifiers against Syria on Thursday, as they led all the way to wrap up a 101-52 victory.

"We played aggressively in the game, especially in grabbing rebounds and fast break, " said Li Nan, the head coach of the Chinese team and a former Chinese international.

China couldn't have a better start in the first quarter, as guard Wu Qian, who had a game-high 19 points, shot two three-pointers, and former NBA star Yi Jianlian added a mid-range shoot to give the hosts an 8-0 lead.

"Our opponents had a slow start in the game, which gave us a chance," Li said.

China finished the first quarter by 31-4, and maintained their dominance during the rest of game. Yi had 15 points and another CBA all-star player Guo Ailun added 14. All the 12 players on the roster got chances to play and 11 of them scored.

It was the Chinese national team's debut after their two squads, "Team Blue" and "Team Red" had merged into one. Former NBA star Yao Ming, the current president of the Chinese Basketball Association also showed up in the game.

As part of the reforms initiated by Yao, the Chinese national team were split into Team Blue and Team Red in 2017.

China have already been assured of a place in the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 finals as the host team, but are still playing the qualifiers as preparations for the quadrennial competition.

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