Petra Kvitova of the Czech Republic hits a return during the women's singles semifinal match against Sofia Kenin of the United States at the French Open tennis tournament 2020 at Roland Garros in Paris, France, Oct. 8, 2020. (Xinhua/Gao Jing)
"Many people informed me of that, but I never thought of scoring 43 points today. It was a recognition for me over the past 16 seasons," said Ji, who took charge of Daqing in the 2017-18 season.
Rwanda lags in the group without a point, Cameroon and Mozambique lead the pack with four points each while Cape Verde has two points. Enditem
Led by Tang Yu's 20 points, Beijing finished with five players in double figures. Shandong's Cao Junwei scored a game-high 26 points and helped her team cut the deficit to four points in the second half, but they still could not reverse the tide.
Chen Meng of Shandong team competes during the women's singles semifinal match against Wang Manyu of Heilongjiang team at the 2020 Chinese National Table Tennis Championships in Weihai, east China's Shandong Province, Oct. 9, 2020. (Xinhua/Zhu Zheng)
In last year's campaign, Loew's team only escaped relegation after the top group was extended.
Xinjiang's Han Xu finished with a team-high 19 points. Liu Tongyi and Wang Lili each had 17.
"I was expecting another level of play, something else, but it's normal. We haven't played for a year," the six-time Ballon d'Or winner said. "It's the anxiety of the first game. The important thing is to keep growing as we have done since the  Copa America.
The AFC Champions League East Zone will resume from the group stage and continue through the Round of 16 to the quarter-finals and semi-finals.
"I've already done it in Australia," said the 21-year-old Kenin, "I've had tough matches these past two weeks and I'm so excited to be in the final. It's incredible. I'm going to enjoy this moment today and get ready for the final tomorrow (on Saturday)."
Zheng Yaping's layup pushed Henan to a 23-22 lead for the first time since the tip-off, and Henan made the most of an 18-0 surge midway through the second quarter to lead 43-28 at halftime.