China edge Puerto Rico 78-72 in World Cup warm-up game

KUNSHAN (Xinhua) – Chinese men’s national team moved over basketball powerhouse Puerto Rico 78-72 on Monday, wrapping up the four-team 2019 FIBA World Cup warm-up series with three straight wins.

The Chinese big men continued their hot performance with Yi Jianlian shooting down a game-high 22 points.

Other two centres Wang Zhelin and Zhou Qi added 17 and 12 points respectively.

China fielded their strongest squad on Monday, and the first half went in favour of the host team.

Puerto Rico shooter Ivan Rafael Gandia made straight baskets beyond the arc to help the visiting team open the game 12-9. However, China returned a 9-0 spurts thanks to the powerful plays by Wang and Zhou. China finished the first quarter 25-15, and led 44-35 by the halftime whistle.

The third quarter went in favour of Puerto Rico. The World No 16 team played tough defence to finish the quarter 21-10.

China was once four-point behind the opponent, but Yi, who shot 66.7 per cent on the floor, stood out in time to take back the lead again. The former Milwaukee Bucks forward made a dunk to level the score and got China ahead again with straight jump shots.

David Huertas Solivan had a team-best 20 points for Puerto Rico. Gandia added 13.

In the other game on Sunday, Angola defeated Croatia 93-73.

China, Puerto Rico and Angola will take part in the 32-team 2019 FIBA World Cup which will take place in eight Chinese cities later this month.