The NBL All-Australian Team has completed its CPA Australia Tour of China with a dominant 89-75 Game 3 victory over Team China with unsigned duo Jeremy Kendle and Jerome Randle starring in Dongguan.
The third and final game of the tour took place on Sunday with Team China having defeated the CPA Australia All-Australian Team 68-66 in Game 1 in Beijing on Wednesday. They secured the series on Friday with an 89-75 victory in Jilin.
But the NBL All-Australian team made a statement on Sunday to close the tour in Dongguan with an emphatic 14-point victory.
That was despite falling seven points down to start the third quarter. But from there the Australian team dominated starting with an 8-0 run and outscoring Team China 51-30 from that point.
It was a pair of unsigned NBL players for the 2017/18 who starred for the NBL All-Australian Team with Randle and Kendle putting in tremendous showings. But it was far from a two-man show with the whole squad stepping up in the absence of Jesse Wagstaff.
Kendle ended up top-scoring with 20 points with Randle finishing with 19 points, five steals, three assists and three rebounds.
Daniel Kickert delivered another 19 points while nailing all five of his three-point attempts to go with four rebounds.
Mitch McCarron started and ended the night with 10 points and six rebounds with Nick Kay contributing 10 points, four rebounds, two assists and two steals.
NBL All-Australian coach Rob Beveridge was delighted to end the CPA Australia Tour of China on a winning note.
“Obviously we are very happy because we won. There’s no question it’s been a very tough tour for us and our preparation has been very minimal. Our squad has just begun its preparation and it took us a little bit of time to find our feet,” Beveridge said.
“There was a lot of adversity that we had to overcome on this tour and in particular the way that our players had to cope with the officiating in this country and this series. For us to overcome all of that adversity with the changes in weather conditions and travel as well, I’m very proud of our team.”
Zhou Peng top-scored for Team China with 15 points while Li Gen added 13 and Hu Jinqiu 12.
The NBL All-Australian Team opened the first break late in the opening quarter when Randle and Kendle led a 5-0 run. When Lucas Walker finished off with a put back slam, the visitors led 19-15 after one.
China regained the advantage with a 7-0 run to open the second quarter on the back of an and-one from Hu Jinqiu. But a Kickert three and five quick Kendle points put the NBL representative team back on top.
Walker, Kendle and McCarron all nailed triples too before half-time, but Team China managed to take a 40-38 advantage into the break.
Team China threatened to break the game open to start the second half with five quick points. But the All-Australian side answered the challenge with a basket from David Barlow and consecutive threes from Kickert.
When Kay also hit a three, Kendle made three at the line and Kay made another basket, the lead was out to seven and then a series-high at that point for the visitors of nine at three quarter-time.
The NBL All-Australians went on with it as well sparked by a 10-0 run early in the final period made up of threes from Kendle and Kickert, and buckets to Randle and Kickert.
Team China continued to be put on the line and struggled with the NBL team not fazed finishing with a big put back slam and then three-pointer from McCarron as yet another highlight on the way to the 14-point victory.
CPA AUSTRALIA NBL ALL-AUSTRALIAN TEAM 89 (Jeremy Kendle 20, Daniel Kickert 19, Jerome Randle 19)
TEAM CHINA 75 (Zhou Peng 15, Li Gen 13, Hu Jinqiu 12)