Powerhouse China star on Day 4 as quarter-finals set for FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023
SINGAPORE - China (men's and women's) finished the pool play in style on Day 4 ahead of a mouth-watering knockout stage at the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023.
No.1 seed and defending champs China were the headline act in the women's and were joined in the quarters by New Zealand, the Philippines and Mongolia.
China face Mongolia in the quarters, while New Zealand and the Philippines do battle.
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In the men's draw, No.3 seed China made it through along with Mongolia, Kazakhstan and host Singapore. China will play Singapore in the quarter-finals, while Mongolia and Kazakhstan square off.
Day four saw the conclusion of the pool phase of Asia's biggest 3x3 event played at the famous Singapore Sports Hub OCBC Square, which is hosting the Asia Cup for the first time.
China's men started slowly against in-form Kazakhstan, who stormed through qualification, before clicking into gear to win 22-14.
China made it two from two when they breezed past India as they aim to go further than last year's bronze medal run.
Reigning women's champs China may have a different team from last year's memorable campaign but their talent runs deep as they swept aside the Philippines and Iran.
New Zealand also impressed with an easy 17-10 victory over No.3 seed Mongolia before crushing Malaysia 21-5.
Yuanbo Zhu was in beast mode and unstoppable in the paint to finish with 12 points and a crazy 20 rebounds across the two games.
The 6ft. 8in (2.03m) made an instant impact in his Asia Cup debut and looms as one of the players to watch on day five.
China's Lingge Zhang is a rising women's star and the 24-year-old lived up to the hype with 10 points against the Philippines.
The 6ft. 3in (1.9m) Zhang can score inside and out to prove she's a certified walking bucket.
Mongolia and Chinese Taipei, who came through qualification, were in heat check mode as they seemingly engaged in a shoot-out contest.
After a slow start, Mongolia got on top and survived a Chinese Taipei comeback largely thanks to superstar Anand Ariunbold, who scored 10 points capped by the buzzer beater in the 21-19 victory.
THE HOST WITH THE MOST
Singapore's only previous Asia Cup appearance was last year, where they finished winless.
They were underdogs against Chinese Taipei but Singapore rode the support of a capacity crowd to produce a lights out performance.
With Yong-An Thng splashing from deep, Singapore powered away to a commanding 19-11 lead and were on the brink of a historic victory.
But they suddenly got nervous as Chinese Taipei made their move to force OT. Singapore appeared set for a collapse until Ng Shi Yu stepped up with the two-piece to trigger wild celebrations.
The Asia Cup heats up on the fifth and final day with the knockout stages.
Australia v Qatar
China v Singapore
Mongolia v Kazakhstan
Iran v New Zealand
Japan v Thailand
New Zealand v Philippines
China v Mongolia
Australia v Chinese Taipei
Watch Day 5 of the FIBA 3x3 Asia Cup 2023 on our YouTube channel.