Thu, 30 Nov 2023

HANGZHOU, Sept. 27 (Xinhua) -- With all 12 players scoring, China whopped Mongolia 101-46 in its Hangzhou Asiad women's basketball Group A opener here on Wednesday evening.

With a significant height advantage, China soon took control of the game as Mongolia couldn't find a way to stop the hosts' star center Han Xu from scoring in the paint. The 24-year-old New York Liberty center had 15 points and grabbed seven rebounds.

Li Meng, who just came back from the end of the Washington Mystics' campaign in the WNBA, was another firepower that Mongolia didn't have any players to match up. The Chinese shooting guard scored 10 points, including two 3-pointers and dished out two assists in less than 14 minutes of action. The game soon became a blowout as China dominated rebounds and had fewer turnovers.

China's Li Yueru, who has made her first national team appearance since suffering a knee injury in last season's WCBA finals, had 18 points and 11 rebounds to lead in both categories, and the Chicago Sky center said she "is now at 70% of her best strength."

Li, who wore protection on both knees, said she would like to be "simple" on the court. "I have spent the whole summer recovering from injuries, and now coming back to games, I don't want to overthink but just be simple," Li said, adding that "I used to give myself a lot of missions, such as shooting from long range, scoring in the paint and taking part in the team's ball rotation, but now I will just focus on what I can do."

China's head coach Zheng Wei commended Li and Huang Sijing's performance. "Even though they (Li and Huang) have been away from international games for half a year, they have met the coaching crew's expectations tonight. Now, I think they are at 70% of their best form, and as the games go on, I'm pretty positive that they can present their best in the final phase."

"The first game [in a tournament] is always hard, but I think my side did well tonight. We didn't have a long period for the whole crew coming together to practice, so we need to take group games as our run-up, so our goal is to be serious with every game for which we have some certain goals," she said at the post-game press conference.

On the 91st-ranked Mongolia's side, Khulan Onolbaatar scored a team-high 16 points and Bulbul Murat added 12.

In other women's games played on Wednesday, South Korea defeated Thailand 90-56, DPR Korea beat Chinese Taipei 91-77, Japan thrashed Hong Kong, China 118-46, the Philippines defeated Kazakhstan 83-59, and India beat Indonesia 66-46.

China next face Indonesia on Friday.

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