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Sports

‘Darkest day’ in China basketball; Greek coach on way out?

Abac Cordero - The Philippine Star

MANILA, Philippines - A Chinese newspaper said it’s “the worst” basketball team China has ever assembled.

Another one, according to a Chinese reporter covering the 27th FIBA-Asia Championship, had this as banner: Darkest day in China basketball history.

China’s stunning loss to Chinese-Taipei the other night is simply unacceptable.

And this early, there are talks that Panagiotis Giannakis may be on his way out as China’s head coach.

“Maybe he will get fired,” said a female Chinese reporter yesterday, less than 24 hours after China lost to Chinese-Taipei, 96-78.

The loss ended China’s reign as FIBA-Asia champion and took the team out of the running for the three slots to next year’s World Championship in Spain.

“People are disappointed in China. This is the first time our A team lost to Chinese-Taipei,” added Liu Jingwen of www.qq.com <http://www.qq.com> .

He said he can’t tell whether Giannakis, a legend back in Greece, should be removed from the team since taking over the coaching chores early this year.

“There are two voices, one saying it’s the players that must be changed. But people in China are asking the question how this could happen,” he said.

“There are too many reasons and it’s so complicated. It may be the coach, the players or the federation,” the reporter added.

In contrast, the Taiwanese are celebrating the victory like no other. People partied in the streets after the match that was shown live on television.

The victory was all over the news as well.

Giannakis steered Greece to a runner-up finish in the 2006 World Championship behind Spain. That year, Greece stunned the United States team led by LeBron James.

He is trying hard to inject a new system in Chinese basketball and is not getting the early results that he wants to see.

“We have the talent we need to change our minds. I told my players from the beginning that if you want to adjust and change something you have to suffer,” he said.

“We need to stay focused on what we want to improve because it’s easy to go back to your habits of just shooting the ball and playing nice and easy.”

It should be the worst finish for China in FIBA-Asia competition. In the 2007 edition in Japan, China finished 10th with its second team because its first team was already preparing for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

On possible changes in the team, whether it would involve the coach or the players, he said it’s too early to say anything.

“It’s not only my opinion. People will decide on what we want to do. It’s not only my opinion but team opinion. But we must change the way of thinking,” said Giannakis.

 

 

vuukle comment

A CHINESE

ASIA CHAMPIONSHIP

BEIJING OLYMPICS

CHINA

CHINESE

CHINESE-TAIPEI

GIANNAKIS

LIU JINGWEN

TEAM

WORLD CHAMPIONSHIP

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