Blatche-less China eliminates Chooks to Go Pilipinas from contention
MANILA, Philippines - Without Gilas big Andray Blatche in their lineup, China Kashgar ousted Chooks to Go Pilipinas from contention, 86-70, in the FIBA Asia Champions Cup in Chenzhou, China, Thursday, September 28.
On the back of their other import guard Darius Adams, China opened the floodgates with a quick 8-0 attack. Meanwhile, the Filipinos couldn’t catch a break as they blew 3 straight point-blank layups. Fortunately for them, Jett Manuel closed out the quarter with a steal and a quick pull-up trey to bring down the Kashgar lead to 24-17.
Carl Bryan Cruz made up early for his previous scoreless game with an and-one jumper to cut the lead 24-20. Kiefer Ravena meanwhile, did his usual thing of keeping the deficit manageable with hard drives and crafty jumpers. Multiple locals also chipped in points here and there to make up for a struggling Isaiah Austin.
However, Kashgar kept on raining threes in a back-and-forth against Chooks, ending with Adams paying back Manuel with his own buzzer-beating three. Led by the gunslinging import’s 21 points with 5 threes, China entered the half with a 45-39 lead against the Philippines.
While the first half was relatively competitive, the second half was anything but, as China’s own Mugadaer Xirelijiang fired off three-pointers of his own while virtually nothing fell for the Philippines. Kashgar easily pulled away from then on and kept a healthy lead until the end.
Ravena and Austin once again led the Chooks charge with 16 apiece, followed by Cruz and Manuel who had 10 points each. On the other end, Adams and Xirelijiang were red-hot for the Red Country with 23 and 20 points, respectively.
Chooks will have one more battle Friday against UAE in the Battle for 5th and a possible Battle for 7th afterwards if they lose again. Kashgar, meanwhile, faces BC Astana Kazakhstan in the semifinals. – Rappler.com
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