CHINA, shooting impeccably from the outside, eluded a tight-pressing Team America defence to clinch a sweep of their Marlboro-USA Challenge Cup series in Guangzhou last night. Team America - a composite touring side including three ex-NBA players - have now lost all three matches against China after earlier failures in Beijing and Shanghai. Coach Tom McCarthy, who led Division One Boston College to the NCAA final eight in the early 1980s, said: ''We are very disappointed with this defeat because, after the first two games, we thought we were improving. Now we have to regroup for the next game. ''Tonight we had a lot of chances to capitalise on the fast break but didn't finish well. And our inside game let us down.'' Recently-crowned East Asian Games champions China found themselves behind for the first time in the series as the Americans jumped to a 9-1 lead. The Americans, experimenting with former New York Net Ricky Wilson at point guard, former Sacramento King Wayne Casey at shooting guard and ex-Houston Rocket Lewis Lloyd as outside shooter, seemed to have found a successful attacking formula. But they wasted too many scoring chances, spoiling the good work of their zonal defence. China soon found their scoring range, rendering the zone ineffective, and used seven foot centre Shan Tao purely as a defensive destroyer rather than in attack. They went in 53-43 up at the half and still led by 10 at the end. The two teams resume hostilities in Macau on Friday as their nine-match Asian tour goes outside China for the first time. They will close the series in Hongkong on June 26.