Asian champions China are in the crucial part of their preparation for their upcoming campaign in the 2012 London Olympics and have trimmed their roster after a series of friendly games.
China head coach Bob Donewald Jr has trimmed the roster down to 17 men, cutting guard Yang Ming and forward Zhu Yanxi from the preliminary roster for different reasons.
“Yang Ming just couldn’t get healthy and with the emergence of Chen Jianghua and the importance to the development of Guo Ailun we had to say goodbye to Yang Ming as we are unsure how long his recovery will take,” Donewald said on cutting Yang Ming.
“Zhu is a new player to the international scene as he didn’t play for the younger teams growing up. Thus I think the newness so to speak caused a lot of nerves. He has had better practices but still has a lot to learn. I am hoping he goes to our second team as he just needs more experience and I think he will become a very solid player,” Donewald reasoned out when asked about Zhu Yanxi.
Yi Jianlian banners the 17-man squad and is expected to take on the leadership role after the retirement of Chinese Basketball icon Yao Ming.
Yi, who played for the Dallas Mavericks this NBA season, earlier said that China can compete for a medal despite not being named or being talked about as one of the favorites in this year’s Olympics.
“Even if a lot of people don’t consider our team among the favourites, I think that we can do great things,” said Yi. “We’ve been working well for a few years and we proved by winning the last Asian Championship that we can play very good basketball.”
China was drawn in Group B and will be taking on Spain, host Great Britain, Brazil, Australia, and another qualifier in the preliminary rounds.
China Preliminary Roster for the 2012 London Olympics
- Wang Zhizhi
- Yi Jianlian
- Zhang Zhaoxu
- Su Wei
- Han Dejun
- Wang Zhelin
- Zhou Peng
- Zhu Fangyu
- Yi Li
- Zhang Bo
- Ding Jinhui
- Zhai Xiaochuan
- Liu Wei
- Wang Shipeng
- Chen Jianghua
- Sun Yue
- Guo Ailun