Chinese Men’s Basketball Team Misses Top 16 of Basketball World Cup After Losing to Puerto Rico
Manila, August 30 – In a disappointing turn of events, the Chinese men’s basketball team lost to Puerto Rico in their last group match of the 2023 Basketball World Cup. With a final score of 89-107, the Chinese team’s hopes of making it to the top 16 were shattered, as they ranked at the bottom of Group B with a three-game record. They will now be entering the 17-32 qualifying round, starting on the 31st.
Despite the loss, the Chinese team’s back line displayed an impressive performance. Zhao Rui led the team with 16 points, followed by Zhao Jiwei and Hu Mingxuan with 14 and 12 points respectively. However, their efforts fell short against the Puerto Rico team, which had a shorter overall height. The Chinese team struggled in rebounds, falling behind at 30-42, and also lost out in second-chance points, allowing their opponents to score 16 points.
Reflecting on the match, Hu Mingxuan shared, “Everyone’s fighting spirit and energy on both ends of offense and defense were very strong in today’s game. There were some details on the defensive end that were not done well. It’s a pity that we couldn’t win.”
The game was highly anticipated, drawing a large number of Chinese fans to the arena. The support for the Chinese team echoed throughout the auditorium, creating a sense of home for the players.
Prior to this game, the Chinese team suffered consecutive losses against Serbia and South Sudan, while the Puerto Rico team had won one and lost one. Both teams were determined to secure a spot in the next round, intensifying the competition. The last time these two teams played against each other in the Basketball World Cup was 13 years ago during the 2010 Men’s Basketball World Championships, where the Chinese team lost by 8 points.
As for the upcoming qualifying round, the Chinese team will face Angola, the third-place team in Group A, on the 31st. The team’s head coach, Djordjevic, acknowledged the opponent’s smart tactics and emphasized the need for the Chinese team to improve their defensive strategy.
Despite the setback, the Chinese team remains determined to bounce back and make their mark in the qualifying round.