NANTONG, China, June 21 (Xinhua) -- Wang Zhelin and Kelanbaike combined for 41 points as the Chinese men's national team beat Australia's NBL United 101-98 in the second stop of the 2019 International Basketball Challenge here on Friday.
In absence of key players including Yi Jianlian, Zhou Qi and Guo Ailun, the Chinese team won over the Australia team in double figures on Wednesday in Qingdao but faced a tough game tonight.
"This is a tough game. We didn't play well in the first half and got better in the second. Players can learn how to win the game from it," said the Chinese team head coach Li Nan.
Wang, the newly-crowned CBA MVP, scored the first two baskets and Zhai Xiaochuan added a 3-pointer to gift China an 18-12 lead. But the visitors came back quickly by making three consecutive 3-pointers to cut the deficit to 28-25 in the first quarter.
They kept their hands hot for a 10-0 spurt to begin the second quarter where they hit seven 3-pointers to lead 54-47 into the second half.
After the half break, China then geared up their attacks against their rivals' high 3-point field goal percentage. Sun Minghui made a tough 3-pointer to tie the game 75-75 at the start of the fourth quarter.
At clutch time, Wang who had a game high 23 points, dominated the paint while Kelanbaike and Abudushalamu made a couple of jumpers to pace the hosts to the victory.
"My coach and teammates trust me and I always have the faith to make shots. The next match will be more difficult," Abudushalamu said.
The last game of the International Challenge will be held in Changzhou, Jiangsu Province on Sunday.