LUOYANG, China, Aug. 2 (Xinhua) -- After suffering a 9-0 run midway through the last quarter, hosts China lost to Slovenia 82-74 in 2014 Stankovic Continental Cup here on Saturday.
"Our players didn't fit into the game at the start, but they improved on defense after adjustments. We had opportunities to come back, while not performing well on rhythm and rebounds," said China's head coach Gong Luming.
Zhou Peng contributed team-high 16 points. Guo Ailun and Wang Zhelin added 11 and 10 respectively.
China once built a 65-64 lead with six minutes to go, but they were responded with a 9-0 run afterwards by their opponents. After leading by five points with less than a minute remaining, Slovenia sealed the victory with solid performance on free throw line.
"We had a good start, and we played like what we were supposed to," said Jure Zdovc, Slovenian head coach.
Slovenia stormed to a 9-0 start, before the hosts opened their scoring account on Wang Zhelin's two free throws with 5:34 to go. After Zhai Xiaochuan had a brilliant layup, China trailed by seven points after the first period.
Slovenia built a 34-20 lead midway through the second quarter, before the hosts had an 8-0 run on Zhou Peng and Zhai Xiaochuan's two three-pointers. After Gu Quan's buzzer beater behind the arc, China still had a five-point deficit.
After half-time adjustment, China opened the third quarter with a 9-0 run on Li Muhao's three-point play and Guo Ailun's two fast breaks, forcing the visitors into a timeout. Slovenia made their first attack on Edo Muric's three-point play three minutes into this quarter, before Zoran Dragic had eight points in a row to help his team lead by 59-56 into last 12 minutes.
Five Slovenian players had double-digit points. Zoran Dragic had game-high 21 points. Jure Balazic and Edo Muric had 12 apiece.
No match is scheduled on Sunday. The final and third-place match will feature on Monday.