Asian Games veteran Zhou Peng knocked in 16 points to lead China to a 66-57 beating of Japan at the start of Group A hostilities of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup Qualifiers at the Angeles University Foundation Sports and Cultural Center in Angeles, Pampanga.
Zijie Shen backed up Peng with 11 points as China opened its campaign on a winning note.
Kosuke Kanamaru and Makoto Hiejima banged in 12 each for the Japan side.
The 6’9” Peng, who also helped China win the FIBA Asia Cup crown in 2015, helped China move away by 15-5 and dominate, 20-12, at the end of the period first period.
China went on to grab a 32-20 edge at halftime.
“Not only did he (Peng) contribute in offense, he encouraged the team and his teammates,” said Chinese coach Du Feng, who said the China quintet is made up mostly of young players.