HANGZHOU, Sept. 22 (Xinhua) -- Head coaches of China's 3x3 national men's and women's basketball teams expressed their determination to compete for gold at the Hangzhou Asian Games while acknowledging the challenges of limited run-in period for the new line-ups.
Due to age restrictions for U23 players in the 3x3 basketball event at the Hangzhou Asian Games and the intense schedule to collect Olympic qualification points, China's national 3x3 basketball teams have not fielded their strongest lineups.
The men's team consists of Liu Yuxuan, Lu Pengcheng, Zhao Jiaren and Zhou Yanxu.
According to head coach Wang Zhanyu, Liu is an inside player who is collecting Olympic qualification points with Serbia's Ub Huishan NE team, currently ranked number one in the world ranking of men's 3x3 basketball.
"He has accumulated a lot of experience with this team and has played some high-quality matches. He is familiar with the performance on the 3x3 basketball court," Wang stated. Zhao and Zhou are versatile players who can handle both inside and outside positions, while Lu is predominantly positioned on the perimeter.
"Even though these four players trained together in the early stages, this is their first time joining forces for team competition. Therefore, we need to establish team chemistry as quickly as possible within these 10 days," Wang Zhanyu said.
At this Asian Games, the main competitors for the men's team are Japan and Mongolia. Wang hoped that China would win the championship, also emphasizing the importance of diligent training and showcasing the spirit of the national team.
The women's team had to make last-minute adjustments to its lineup due to injuries, with Huang Kun and Chen Yujie being replaced by Wang Xinyu and Wang Jiahui, who join Wan Jiyuan and Chen Mingling in the squad.
"The last-minute changes before the Asian Games put considerable pressure on our team and our pursuit of target results. The most challenging issue is that both of our injured players were point guards. Because we can only make adjustments within the six-player roster, our options are not very extensive," explained head coach Xu Jiamin.
Xu revealed that the current line-up lacks a true point guard. "Three out of these four players are relatively inside players, and Wang Xinyu is not a pure point guard either. She has some ball-handling skills and scoring ability but leans more toward being a shooting guard or small forward."
"It's not the most ideal line-up for the Asian Games. We may need to make some extreme adjustments in our strategy and playing style based on players' strengths because we lack a ball handler. We may need to think about some specific strategies against our Asian Games opponents."
Xu noted that, due to age restrictions, players like Wang Lili and Zhang Zhiteng, who are more technically mature and have a competitive edge, could not participate. However, one positive aspect is that "every Asian Games cycle motivates the team to discover young talents with greater potential for development, laying a solid foundation for the new cycle of player development."
Xu said that this year, the women's team faces tough challenge from Japan and Mongolia. Additionally, Chinese Taipei and Malaysia are also strong, and these four teams are the focus of the team's early preparations for the Asian Games.
Xu emphasized that China's women's 3x3 basketball team is aiming for the title at the Asian Games and is prepared for fluctuations in form and potential challenges in team cohesion during the competition.
"These four players have had no prior experience playing together in official matches before the Asian Games. Therefore, there will inevitably be many uncontrollable factors in the actual matches, including team cohesion and offensive and defensive efficiency. We need to be prepared for various unexpected situations during the competition and make adjustments as needed to do our best to accomplish our mission in this competition," Xu said.
The 3x3 basketball event at the Hangzhou Asian Games will be held from September 25 to October 1 at the Deqing Geographic Information Town Basketball Court.