SPORTS We have 'no limit' in basketball World Cup, says China head coach Djordjevic


We have 'no limit' in basketball World Cup, says China head coach Djordjevic


08:55, December 27, 2022

BEIJING, Dec. 27 (Xinhua) -- Aleksandar Djordjevic, newly appointed head coach of the Chinese men's basketball team, has told Xinhua that he has high expectations for his side at the 2023 FIBA World Cup.

Aleksandar Djordjevic. (Photo: VCG)

Djordjevic arrived in China in mid-November and has since started selecting players from the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) League. He made notes and rated players with stars while watching games at courtside.

The 55-year-old Serbian said that the CBA league has strong game intensity and physical contact, and many talented young players have left a deep impression on him.

"First of all, a player must have a good sense of professionalism and honor. Putting on the national team jersey is the highest honor a player can achieve," Djordjevic said on Monday.

"Beyond that, players need to be aggressive and intelligent. In my basketball philosophy, elite players have to interpret the game and their positions well. They must not only understand what they can bring to the clubs but also be clear about their roles in the national team," he added.

Djordjevic believed that building the national team is not about selecting the country's best 12 players but choosing the most suitable 12 people to maximize the team's strength.

"My ultimate goal is to build up a strong entity with each player eager to pass the ball selflessly," he noted.

The FIBA World Cup, which is scheduled for late August 2023, will be a big test for the Chinese team. Djordjevic's side will seek a breakthrough in the World Cup to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympics.

Despite the tight schedule and immense tasks, a passionate Djordjevic said that "the goal has no limit."

"I never say that someone we play against is better than us before the end of the game. My goal for every team I coach is to win medals," he said.

For the off-season, Djordjevic said that physical training is one of the national team's top priorities. "In the trend of modern basketball, athleticism has become more and more important."

Meanwhile, the experienced coach also emphasized the importance of warm-up matches. He urged the CBA to arrange enough warm-up games for the World Cup.

"In order to win the best ones, you need to confront them (as many times as possible) to know their strengths and weaknesses, and expose our strengths and hide our weaknesses," he said.

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