Li Nan (left), new head coach of China's national basketball team, gives a basketball with his signature to Luo Wenhua, deputy director of Shanghai Sports Bureau, during the FIBA Basketball World Cup 2019 Qualifiers press conference in Shanghai on Wednesday.
China will take on Syria in an Asian qualifier for the 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup at Baoshan Indoor Stadium on November 29.
Though China has already booked a slot in next year’s World Cup as the host, the match in suburban Baoshan District has still drawn interest from domestic basketball followers as it will be the national team’s first match since the appointment of new head coach Li Nan.
Chinese Basketball Association President Yao Ming revolutionized the men’s national team by separating it into two squads which were led by two separate groups of coaches and represented China in international competitions by turn. It was meant to provide more players with playing opportunities and bring the best out of them through competition.
At the end of September, the two teams were combined into one and Li, one of the two national coaches, was named the new head coach.
“We will use this match to observe the players and enhance cooperation between coaches and players,” said Li. “The players still need more time with each other and high-level match opportunities. I hope the qualifiers can help increase their self-confidence while the team hopefully achieves continuous progress.”
Tickets for the match will be made available on damai.cn from today. Students can purchase tickets at the lowest price of 50 yuan (US$7.2).
The 2019 FIBA Basketball World Cup will be held from August 31 to September 15 in the cities of Beijing, Shanghai, Nanjing (Jiangsu Province), and Wuhan (Hubei Province), as well as Guangzhou, Shenzhen, Foshan and Dongguan, all in Guangdong Province.
It is be the first time China will host the tournament, which is organized every four or five years. The 2019 edition will see an expansion in scale to 32 teams from the previous 24.