China's London prospects suffer a blow
Updated: 2011-08-18 08:15
Australia's Aj Ogilvy (L) reaches for the ball over China's Su Wei at the London International Basketball Invitational at the Olympic Basketball Arena, August 16, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
BEIJING - China's determination to win the Asia Championship suffered a huge blow on Tuesday when Wang Shipeng, captain of the national basketball squad, suffered a wrist fracture during a tune-up match against Australia and could miss the Sept 15-25 continental tournament in Wuhan, Hubei province.
Injury-plagued China must win the title to book the region's only ticket to the London Olympic Games.
Adding to the struggling team's woes was a humiliating 71-43 loss to the Aussies at the London International Basketball Invitation event, a trial tournament ahead of the 2012 Olympics.
The event also features Serbia, France, Croatia and host Britain.
Sharp shooter Wang was knocked down near the end of the first half and could not stand up for a while. He was later taken to hospital.
China's basketball team arrive for their match against Australia at the London International Basketball Invitational at the Olympic Basketball Arena, August 16, 2011. [Photo/Agencies]
The team's doctor, Du Wenliang, said Wang had suffered an ulnar styloid fracture on his right wrist and will need four to six weeks to recover.
With less than four weeks before the FIBA Asia Championship, the Chinese squad may have to face the gloomy outlook of its best swingman not being available.
Wang has been a consistent contributor to the national team and played a key role in China's progress to the 2006 World Championship quarterfinals by shooting a buzzer-beating three pointer against Slovenia in the last group match.
"Wang will consult with a doctor tomorrow and choose the best way to heal the wrist," Du said.
However, the Chinese player has not given up hope he can return in time.
Wang said on his weibo account, the Chinese Twitter-like micro-blogging service, that he will be back. He also posted a picture of his injured wrist wrapped in gauze.
After finishing a disappointing Stankovic Continental Cup journey in third place, Bob Donewald's team needs a quick turnaround ahead of the Asia Championship with several key players, including veteran leader Wang Zhizhi, sharp-shooter Zhu Fangyu and rebounder Ding Jinhui, all sidelined with injuries.
The tempremental American coach flared up again about China's tight warm-up schedule before the Asia Championship after Tuesday's defeat.
Asked by a local Chinese reporter whether there were any techniques or tactics he will change in coming games, Donewald said he only wanted some doctors to heal the team as soon as possible.
"What kind of changes do you want to make? Are you a doc? If you were, then everything might change," Donewald said.
"That took some of life out of (our) game. We've got young players in the game, Wang Shipeng goes down and I take a time out and you could see the faces as Wang Shipeng walks off the floor.
"We just couldn't get them up again because it was like, 'wow, here we go again with another injury'."
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