SANA’A, Yemen / BEIJING, China (21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship): Fan Bin, the chief helmsman of the Chinese U18 team that recently won the gold medal at the 21st FIBA Asia U18 Championship termed the campaign as “one of the more difficult ones for the team. But we showed enough strength to win.”
Nine of the 12 at Sana’A had already been a part of Fan Bin’s team at the 2010 FIBA U17 World Championship where China finished seventh. “But we included three older players and had very little time to prepare together as a team,” the coach said on arrival at Beijing to a rousing reception.
On the team’s overall performance
It wasn’t as easy as it looked.
We hardly had any preparation. In a manner of speaking, the most of our preparatory games were played in the FIBA U17 World Championship!
The conditions too were not easy to adapt because of the high-altitude atmosphere. The opponents were out to get us.
With every game, our opponent was getting tougher, and seemed more determined to beat us. We had to maintain the focus throughout.
In fact, I think this is a win for the character and the discipline the boys showed.
On the opponents faced
Every team has improved tremendously. Teams from West Asia were a lot more physical and taller; Philippines speedier; and Korea sharper. Even a team like Yemen, whom many would have thought of as easy gave us a lot of trouble.
All this made our task even tougher.
One of our key players (Guo Ailun) joined the team only a couple of days before the event (Guo was a part of the China men’s National Team that took part in the 2010 FIBA World Championship in Turkey). He and others took time to settle down into a rhythm.
But like I said the boys worked really hard for this achievement.
On Wang Zhelin’s performance
He is a very talented kid. He is also in good condition after all the hard work he put in over the last six months. He is now our main center.