China to give dual national basketball teams more time, says CBA vice-chairman

Updated 2017-11-30 13:32:56 Xinhua

China will keep the new two-team, double-coaching system for the next two years, Wang Libin, vice-chairman of Chinese Basketball Association told Xinhua on Thursday.

Wang's comment came after a national team managed by Li Nan defeated its old rival South Korea 92-81 in the Asian preliminaries of 2019 FIBA World Cup played on Sunday, earning its second win in two games.

The victory gave a much-needed jolt of confidence to Chinese fans after many of them questioned the necessity and effect of the new national team system.

The new national team plan is one of the major steps taken in China's basketball reform plan, enacted after Yao Ming took the position. Former Chinese players Li Nan and Du Feng each coaches an independent team before the two teams merge into one for the 2019 World Cup and the 2020 Olympic Games.

Wang, who is also the chairman of the Shaanxi Basketball Association, said that China built two national teams to give more players the chance to play in more international games.

"As the host of the 2019 World Cup, China had secured its ticket. We want to give more opportunities and patience to the two current Chinese head coaches Du Feng and Li Nan," Wang said.

"Since we don't have pressure competing in the preliminaries and some other Asian-level games, we'd like to give them enough space to showcase their brilliant coaching abilities," Wang added.

Former coach Gong Luming helped China win the Asian championship title in 2015, but his coaching in the national team lasted less than three years. After Rio's embarrassing no-win campaign, China built the new system with double national teams in April.

"Our reform has just started, so we need to explore the best way to develop China's professional basketball," said Wang, "As far as we can see, it is necessary to give the two national teams intensive training for a long period to come."

The other national team, led by Du, will play in the next period preliminaries set for February, 2018.

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