Asia Game 2018: China vs Philippine Preview
Old rivals face off, in what will probably be one of the biggest events at the Asian Games 2018. Most eyes will be on Jordon Clarkson of the Cleveland Cavaliers who debuts for Team Philippine tonight. For Clarkson this is his first official representation of the South East-Asian power house and with his lackluster finals performance, I’m expecting Clarkson to come out hot.
Routing Kazakhstan 96–59, Philippines are coming into the game in exceptional form. With 4 players scoring into double digits and the addition of Clarkson, this team definitely won’t have scoring problems.
Team China aren’t coming into this match as total underdogs though, as they themselves are boosting their own NBA-caliber player in the form of 7’1 big man Zhou Qi. Coming off the back of scrimmages with the Houston Rockets, national games with Angola and Slovakia, Team China are have had their fair share of international friendlies.
Key questions that China needs to be able to answer:
Will China be able to take advantage of their height?
The Philippines are notorious for being tough, grit and grind type players. They don’t let their lack of size deter them from battling inside the paint although some would say that they play dirty(Cough Aussies cough). For me its just their competitive spirit and physical brand of play. It’ll be interesting to see how the Chinese big men assert themselves in this game, I foresee Wang getting some touches inside, how he begins will probably dictate how he is for the rest of the game. Qi would be the one that I am more concerned with because he hasn’t shown that he can post-up effectively.
Is there somebody able to keep up with Jordon Clarkson?
It will be interesting to see which Chinese player will be tasked with guarding Clarkson, it’ll probably be a combination of Zhao Rui and Ding. Watching the CBA Finals 2017–2018, I thought that Rui did an admirable job on Lester Hudson, Rui played fair and tough defence while showing that he was able to keep up with Hudson. Playing for Shandong I’ve noticed that Ding is often given easier defensive assignments to preserve his energy for the offensive side of the game. It’ll’ be interesting to see if he’ll be able to keep up.
Players to watch out for:
Without mentioning the obvious, I think the player to watch out most for would be Forward/Guard Ding Yanyuhang. Coming off a knee injury which kept him out of the 2018 NBA Summer League with the Brooklyn Nets, Ding will need to have a strong Asian Games to show that he is capable of playing at a higher level. In terms of scoring, Ding will most likely be the person taking the shots for the guards which will be intriguing to see how Ding matches up against the guards of the Philippians.
Team China consisting mostly of China Red players, the squad selected is below:
- Tian Yuxiang
- Fang Shuo
- Zhao Rui
- Sunming Hui
- Zhao Tailong
- Ding Yanyuhang
- Liu Zhixuan
- Abudushalamu Abudurexiti
- Wang Zhelin
- Yu Changdong
- Zhou Qi
- Hanlin Dong