China swept aside a feeble challenge from Syria in a FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Asian qualifier on Thursday, leading all the way to a 101-52 victory in Shanghai.
"We played aggressively in the game, especially in grabbing rebounds and fast break," said Li Nan, head coach of the Chinese team and a former China international.
China couldn't have had a better start in the first quarter, as guard Wu Qian, who recorded a game-high 19 points, shot two three-pointers, with former NBA star Yi Jianlian adding a mid-range shot 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 31-4 ahead and maintained their dominance during the rest of the 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.
Former NBA star Yao Ming, the current president of the Chinese Basketball Association, watched the game.
It was the Chinese national team's debut after their two squads, "Team Blue" and "Team Red," who originally were part of the reforms initiated by Yao in 2017, were merged into one.
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.