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Coach Du Feng on China's difficulties at 2022 FIBA Asia Cup – CGTN

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Du Feng, head coach of China, looks on in the FIBA Asia Cup game against Indonesia at Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 18, 2022. /CFP
The Chinese men’s national basketball team are headed to Europe to prepare for the next stage of the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers in August after competing at the FIBA Asia Cup in Jakarta, Indonesia.
It was disappointing that China exited the Asia Cup in the quarterfinals, but the team had to battle many difficulties to even participate.
“It’s safe to say that we have never seen anything like this before,” coach Du Feng said. “Players began to suffer health problems one by one after the FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers. Our plans for training and practice were interrupted. We had to recruit five new players from home, but three of them had never trained with the national team. They had little knowledge of how their teammates and the team played.”
Zhou Qi (#15) of China competes for a rebound in the FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinals against Lebanon at Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 20, 2022. /CFP
Multiple players had to stay in Melbourne after testing positive for COVID-19 before the Asia Cup. Moreover, only six of those who went to Jakarta were able to attend team practice regularly.
“It [COVID-19] is not like a normal cold and consumed our players badly. I remember Zhou Qi lost almost five kilograms when he arrived in Indonesia from Australia. Neither were Zhao Jiwei and many other players in good health,” Du said.
The coach recalled that they talked to players face to face before selecting 12 based on their health and will to play at the Asia Cup. “Many of those 12 players spent over a week staying in their hotel rooms for health reasons,” Du said. “They were not in their best form but still went to the court to fight. That wasn’t easy, and it posed a great challenge to the coaching staff as well.”
Zhao Rui (#8) of China drives toward the rim in a FIBA Asia Cup quarterfinal against Lebanon at Istora Gelora Bung Karno in Jakarta, Indonesia, July 20, 2022. /CFP
Du said he was glad that no player suffered injury despite the fatigue the team had to overcome.
China are in Group F with Australia, Japan, Kazakhstan, Iran and Bahrain for the next stage of the World Cup qualifiers, which begins on August 25. China won’t play against Australia and Japan, but all teams will carry over the results from the previous stages. The top three teams of each of the two groups will qualify for the World Cup after the Philippines and Japan secure automatic qualification as the hosts.
China will play against Kazakhstan in their first game on August 25.
Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3
Disinformation report hotline: 010-85061466
Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3
Disinformation report hotline: 010-85061466
Copyright © 2020 CGTN. Beijing ICP prepared NO.16065310-3
Disinformation report hotline: 010-85061466

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