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Team leader: Yao never said he would quit national team
Updated: 2004-08-17 10:34

Team leader Li Yuanwei on Monday denied the report that NBA star center Yao Ming would quit the Chinese men's national basketball team.

"I have talked with Yao and he told me that he had never said he would quit the national team," Li Yuanwei told Xinhua on Monday.

"I am thinking to retire from national team. Not now, but soon I will," the info system of the Athens Olympics quoted Yao as saying following China's 83-58 defeat to Spain in a preliminary group A match in the men's basketball tournament.

The quotes spread among some Chinese media, originating the report on Yao's potential retirement from the national side.

Playing in his second Olympics, Yao, 23, was very upset after China's opening loss at Athens.

"I feel very bad," said Yao, who finished with 12 points and eight rebounds before fouled out with more than four minutes remaining, on Sunday.

"I am really upset, I got hurt almost every time playing for the national team," he added.

The Chinese stayed within 52-43 in the third quarter, but Spainpulled away with a 19-2 burst for an unshakable 71-45 lead 6:08 from the end.

"I don't know why (we played badly)," Yao said. "Were they (teammates) nervous? Or they would not take responsibilities? I just did what I should do."

"We give up easily every time when we come across some obstacles," he added.





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