MANILA, Philippines — Defending champion China hardly missed the services of its two key players in hammering out a 79-45 thrashing of India in the 27th FIBA Asia men’s Championship Tuesday at the Mall of Asia Arena in Pasay City.
Sans Yi Jianlian for the fourth straight game due to a hamstring injury and with starting point guard Li Xiaoyu sitting out after taking a hard hit against Kazakhstan Monday night, China had little if not no trouble at all.
Forward Wang Zhelin scored 18 points, grabbed nine rebounds and had three steals for the Chinese, who improved to 2-2, to fill the loss of Yi while Guo Ailun added 16 points.
“We try to keep him (Yi) fresh. We’re waiting for him,” said China coach Panagiotis Giannakis, hoping that his star player will be ready to play as soon as possible.
China, which led by as much as 36 points, got 47 points from its bench, outscoring the Indians’ total output.
Veteran center Wang Zhizhi chipped in with 13 points on top of five rebounds.