Fiba World Cup: Coach urges China to play smarter after missing Olympics spot | Inquirer Sports

Fiba World Cup: Coach urges China to play smarter after missing Olympics spot

/ 07:44 PM September 03, 2023

China coach Aleksandar Djordjevic.

China coach Aleksandar Djordjevic. –MARLO CUETO/

China head coach Aleksandar Djordjevic said his team needs to play smarter after missing out on an Olympic qualifying spot at the Fiba World Cup with a fourth defeat on Saturday.

China slumped to a 96-75 loss to the Gilas Pilipinas in Manila to bring an end to a disastrous tournament for the basketball-obsessed nation.


By the time their game had ended, Japan had already claimed the one Asian qualifying spot for the Paris Games available at the World Cup.


Japan beat Cape Verde 80-71 in Okinawa for its third win to finish the tournament as Asia’s highest-placed team.

China managed only one win from five games and Djordjevic said his team’s “loss of focus and concentration” was to blame against the Philippines, after being outscored 34-11 in the third quarter.

“Once you’re tired, once the difficulties start, you have to use your head — our head was not used in the proper way tonight in the second half,” he said.

“Basketball is a game for thinkers. You must think in every possession, you must understand what is happening on both sides of the floor.”

Djordjevic said he would not quit as head coach and would lead the team at the Asian Games in Hangzhou later this month.

He said the team “must learn from this” and vowed to pick largely the same group of players.


“Everybody brings responsibility, the head coach is the first one,” he said.

“That’s how it happens. It’s sport, we’ve got to try to get better every day, that’s our job.”

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Four spots for the 12-team Paris Olympics will still be up for grabs at next year’s qualifying tournament.

Kyle Anderson (Li Kaier) after China’s 96-75 loss to the Philippines. #FIBAWC

Posted by Inquirer Sports on Saturday, September 2, 2023

TAGS: China, Fiba World Cup

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