China fell to the Philippines 96-87 in their first game of the FIBA Asia Cup here.
China head coach Du Feng fielded a line-up which included Guo Ailun, Liu Xiaoyu, Zhou Peng, Ren Junfei and Han Dejun during the match on Wednesday evening, reports Xinhua news agency.
In the beginning, China tipped off and got possession, getting two points in as many minutes. But five fouls in less than three minutes meant that China trailed after the first quarter 16-26.
China did no better in the second quarter. At the end of the first half, China were 14 points behind the Philippines. In the second half, Du Feng managed an oppressive defence.
China caught up and nearly levelled the score at the end of the third quarter.
In the fourth quarter, China continued to stay on the offensive, and took a one-point lead. However, their lead did not last long as the Philippines equalised again before winning it by nine points.
For China, Guo Ailun got 18 points, Zhou Peng scored 17 and Hu Jinqiu added 13.
"We got well prepared before the games. We also predicted the result. As is known to all, we have only four players who had joined the Asian Men's Championship. The rest of the players played in this kind of competition for the first time, and lacked the psychological qualities needed," Du Feng said.
"We lost the best time at the beginning. At the second half our players' attitude improved. We were hopeful that we could win the game, but made too many fouls."
In other matches, Iraq and Syria each won by one. Iraq won their game against Qatar 75-66. Syria fell narrowly to Jordan 66-68.
The FIBA Asia Cup will be held from August 8 to 20 in Lebanon with 16 teams participating. China will take on Qatar and Iraq on the 11th and 13th in the following group games.