Home FIBA Kyle Anderson debuts for China in a mini-tournament vs Italy, scores 11...

Kyle Anderson debuts for China in a mini-tournament vs Italy, scores 11 in a loss

Photo: CGTN Sports Scene/Twitter

In his first taste of the international basketball atmosphere, Kyle Anderson had a quietly impressive performance for China.

Sporting his Chinese name “Li Kaier” while also wearing protective eye goggles, Anderson registered 11 points on 50 percent shooting as well as five boards for China in their 79-61 defeat against Italy in the Trentino Basketball Cup Finals.

Anderson delivered a good display in his Chinese team debut, but he believes that there’s still a lot more room to grow for them as they continue their preparations at the FIBA Basketball World Cup later this month.

“Of course it could’ve been better, you don’t like losing by that much,” Anderson said about his national team debut and China’s runner-up finish on Sunday against the Italians, via Sun Xiaochen of China Daily.

“But this is practice to get ready for competition in a tournament in Manila. We just wanted to use it wisely, and fix our mistakes and find out how we can get better.”

Anderson, who traces his Chinese roots to his maternal grandmother, was tapped by the Chinese Basketball Federation to be their newest reinforcement. Last July, the naturalization process of the Minnesota Timberwolves forward was completed, thus making him eligible for the World Championships on the side of Team Dragon.

The 29-year-old has been in the training field with the Chinese squad since last week as they are looking to get even more cohesive to their brand of play.

“I just got to find ways to adjust, find ways to get better and I know I will… You are kind of thankful that you have these games to use them to get better and figure out the European game so I just got to learn to adjust, and we all do,” Anderson added.

Anderson and Team China are within the Group B of the group phase round of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup. They’ll open up their campaign against Serbia on Aug. 25 in Manila’s Smart Araneta Coliseum.

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