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China spoils Ryan Rossiter's Japan debut to go 3-0 in ACQ

Zhou Qi anchored China's offense against Japan with new recruit Ryan Rossiter. FIBA/Paul Ryan Tan
By Ivan Saldajeno

MANILA--China never wavered despite a good showing from Ryan Rossiter in his debut as Japan's naturalized player and swept their FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers match-up with a 90-84 win on Saturday at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center.

China rallied in the final six and a half minutes of play, starting with an 15-1 run that overturned a 73-80 deficit to an 88-81 lead with 1:06 left.

Yuki Togashi tried to keep Japan in the game after converting a three-pointer off a Rossiter feed to cut the lead down to four with 47 seconds remaining.

However, Ren Junfei delivered a dagger layup right in the next offensive for the final tally even as Rossiter missed his own triple afterward.

Zhou Qi makes a return to the Chinese national team and led the squad, which is now 3-0 in Group B action, with 18 points, 12 rebounds, and two blocks.

Zhao Jiwei and Shen Zijie each added 13 markers as China repeated over Japan three days after a 66-57 win during the Angeles bubble opener on Wednesday.

China can complete a full sweep of Group B with a win against Chinese Taipei in the final game of the Angeles bubble on Sunday night.

Togashi led Japan, which finished its ACQ stint with a 2-2 record, with 17 points on 6-of-9 shooting and two assists.

Rossiter added 15 points, four rebounds, six assists, and three steals for the Japanese side, which could not close out the game despite racing to a 29-point first quarter.

Box Scores:

China 90-Q. Zhou 18, J. Zhao 13, Shen 13, Ren 12, Hu 10, Zhang 8, P. Zhou 5, Y. Zhao 5, Wu 4, Xu 2, Lu 0

Japan 84-Togashi 17, Rossiter 15, Kanamaru 12, Hiejima 10, Tanaka 9, Schafer 7, Tsuji 6, Ando 3, Harimoto 3, Takeuchi 2, Shinoyama 0

Quarterscores: 21-29, 41-45, 65-69, 90-84

Follow him on Twitter: @IvanSaldajeno

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