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China's coach Xu confident ahead of FIBA women's Olympic qualifiers

2019-12-04 14:59:00 Xinhuanet

BEIJING, Dec. 4 (Xinhua) -- Xu Limin, head coach of the Chinese women's basketball team, said his side should approach next February's FIBA Women's Olympic qualifying tournaments with confidence.

"Our players need to build confidence. I feel the team didn't show it enough during the recent Asia-Oceania Olympic pre-qualifying tournament. We need to build it through training and daily work," Xu told Xinhua in an exclusive interview.

China will take on Spain, Britain and South Korea in qualifiers held in Foshan, Guangdong, with top three earning Olympic berths.

Xu thinks that third-ranked Spain is one level above the remaining three teams, thus making the head-to-heads between other sides quite intense.

"It cannot be called a 'death group', but indeed it's difficult, as everyone is strong," he pointed out.

Xu had much to say about Asian arch-rival South Korea, whom the Chinese side lost to in the opening match of pre-qualifiers before bouncing back to pocket the following two matches and advance as the top finishers.

"The loss (to South Korea) is not out of my expectations. Our young group is not quite used to their characteristics. We had made full preparation, but failed to totally put it into our match against South Korea.

"We will meet again in qualifiers. We need to make better preparation for the difficulties ahead," Xu said.

"Every coin has two sides. We didn't perform to our level as we were too much concerned against South Korea. Then we made it simple and played our game against New Zealand," he added.

For Xu, clawing back from adversities will help the team grow and improve the players' mentality in ahead of the upcoming matches.

The Chinese internationals are now in league duties with respective clubs. They will return to the national side early next month.

"We will mainly set our eyes on Britain and South Korea, but it doesn't mean that we will give up against Spain," Xu commented.

"We can expect intense matchup in this competition system, and everything is possible.

"The home advantage is a double-edged sword. Everything will go our way if we deal with it well, but will pose us huge pressure in the opposite scenario. We have to consider how to motivate our potential at home," Xu said.

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