FIBAWWC 2018: Tom Maher’s China a mix of youth and experience

FIBAWWC 2018: Tom Maher’s China a mix of youth and experience

China’s success in Spain will be on the experience of legendary Australian coach Tom Maher, as he tries to tutor a team mixed with youth and experience if they are to rewrite the history books in Spain.

China is one of the top 10 basketball playing nations in the women’s division. They have appeared in 10 of the 16 FIBA Women’s World Cup though making the semi finals just twice in as many appearances.

Head Coach
Regarded as the most successful coach for his exploits in the Australian Women’s National Basketball League history, Tom Maher is in his second stint in China after the 4th place finish at Beijing 2008 Olympics.
His experience at international level with New Zealand and Great Britain as well means China has one of the best marksmen in Tenerife.

Greatest Achievement
China got to the FIBA World Championship final in 1994 in Australia where they lost to Brazil.  A step up from their outing in the Soviet Union in 1983 where they took the Bronze.

How they qualified:
China picked the last of 3 tickets to the World Cup on offer at the Asia Women Championship in India. They beat South Korea 75-51 in the third place playoffs, joining eventual champions Japan and Australia in Tenerife.

Stars to Watch
29 year old Shao Ting will lead the Chinese wall in Spain after impressive progression from the last FIBA Women’s World Cup and Olympic Games in Rio. Coach Tom Maher has opted to name the Beijing Wall Guard/ Forward team captain and certainly all Chinese hopes will rest on her shoulders.

Expectations:
Quarterfinals – The Chinese Ladies are yet to impact the world stage in recent times but are good enough to qualify from the group as second favorites behind USA in Group D.

Written by Femi Adefeso. Twitter: @IncredibleFemi

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