SYDNEY, June 30 (Xinhua) -- Australia's national men's basketball team, the Boomers, defeated the Chinese team 76-69 in their first match of the FIBA World Cup Asian qualifiers on Thursday.
During the first quarter, both sides kept pace as the home team came slightly ahead 17-15.
The Aussies consolidated their lead 43-34 in the second quarter, capitalizing on China's turnovers. China regained ground in the third quarter and began to play a more aggressive game, pulling with at 57-55.
But Australia called the shots in the final quarter before they cruised to the victory 76-69.
During a pre-match interview, China's head coach Du Feng acknowledged his team was the underdog, but said they were all in good spirits for the qualifiers.
"Australia is our toughest opponent in the qualifiers. The Australian team is ranked much higher than us, but my team is ready to take on this world class team," Du said.
He added that the team was dealing with a number of last-minute changes, and they were still adapting to the colder Melbourne weather having just arrived in Australia last week.
China is scheduled to face Australia again on Sunday, and will play Chinese Taipei twice throughout the Group B first round qualifiers.