China has best basketball teams in history, top official

2008-07-26 06:53:11 GMT       2008-07-26 14:53:11 (Beijing Time)       Xinhua English

BEIJING, July 26 (Xinhua) -- China will pitch the best teams at the basketball competitions of the 2008 Beijing Olympic Games, Li Yuanwei, deputy director of the Chinese Basketball Association said on Saturday.

"People tagged the national men's team of the 1994 World Championships as the Golden Generation of the Chinese basketball, because they won the eighth place at the worlds for the first time. I never agree with that. I think the Chinese teams at the Beijing Games are the best," Li told Xinhua at Tiantan Hotel after watching the morning training of the national teams.

Gong Xiaobin, assistant coach of the national team, and Adijiang, head coach of the national second team, led a fast-paced Chinese team to break the record at Toronto, Canada, in 1994.

"But I don't think that team in 1994 could beat this national team," Li said. "That team might be better on some aspects, like speed and skills. But basketball nowadays is more competitive and more physical. It's more difficult to be in the top eight than 14 years ago."

"Not only the men's team, but also the women's is the best-ever squad in our history," Li added.

Wang Fang, assistant coach of the national women's team, is a member of the 1992 Barcelona Games, where the Chinese women won the silver medal.

She said she would not have been selected into the national squad if she had played at the 2008 Games.

"She told me her feelings and I think it's more convincing, because she was the member of the silver-winning team," Li said.

"Olympic competitions are the most difficult ones. It's not easy to enter the quarterfinals, or even to win medals. But we have better teams here and we should do better this time," he said.

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