Manila, Aug 6 (IANS) Defending champion China defeated India 79-45 to win back-to-back games in Group F at the 27th Asian Men's Basketball Championship here Tuesday.
But the match wasn't easy for China as they lost two key players, reports Xinhua.
Former NBA player Yi Jianlian strained his thigh muscle before the tournament and only played China's opening match against South Korea and point guard Liu Xiaoyu injured his back in Monday's match against Kazakhstan.
Young players came out to play a key role in China's second victory at the second stage. Wang Zhelin and Guo Ailun, both 19, combined 34 points. Guo scored nine of his 16 points in the final quarter while Wang had nine rebounds and three steals despite his match-high 18 points.
"We fought for the win and played as we wanted. I only did what the coaches told me to," said Wang.
China outscored India 23-6 in the second quarter to set a lead of 25 points by halftime and enlarged it to 31 before the final period. Veteran Wang Zhizhi had 13 points in his nine minutes and 12 seconds playing time.
Amjyot Singh led India with 16 points but was the only Indian to score in double digits.
China beat India in all fields except free throw percentages. India made 10 of their 14 free throw attempts while China missed 11 out of 31.
"We're missing two important players but we controlled the situation. We got better after the sixth minute and my players performed with good focus. It's good for young players," said Chinese head coach Panagiotis Giannakis.
"We want to keep Yi fresh and healthy. Maybe he will play in tomorrow's match. He needs to go on court before the knockout stage."
China evened its group record at 2-2 while India is still winless at 0-4. China will take on Bahrain Wednesday.