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12/07/2012
Jianlian YI (China). Great Britain v China. 2011 London Invitational Tournament, Final Round. 20 August 2011

BEIJING (Olympics) - China will have an experienced squad when they compete at the London Games.

Among the veterans coach Bob Donewald will take to the Olympics are Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi, Liu Wei, Sun Yue, Zhu Fangyu and Wang Shipeng - all members of the side that reached the Quarter-Finals of the 2008 Olympics in Beijing.

Yi, who spent this past NBA Lockout-shortened season with the Dallas Mavericks, also played at the Athens Olympics eight years ago.

This will be the first time that he goes into a Summer Games as China's leading player, though.

Yao Ming was on the roster in Athens and Beijing but has retired.

Donewald, in an interview with FIBAAsia.net, spoke about the need for Yi to be a real leader.

"He has to score and rebound, but most importantly he has to get other people open looks because of his presence," Donewald said.

"He is at the top of his game right now and very hungry to play."

Donewald also stressed that Wang Shipeng will have a very important role.

"He too is a leader for us," Donewald said, "a scorer that we missed badly last summer.

"He broke his wrist in London last year and this year, he can't wait to return and play."

There was speculation that 18-year-old Wang Zhelin could find his way into the team but he was not chosen in the final 12.

The 2.14m center had a terrific game at the Nike Hoop Summit for the World Team earlier this year, scoring 19 points, corralling eight rebounds and swatting a shot in an 84-75 win over the USA Select side.

"Wang is a good young player with great potential," said CBA vice president Hu Jiashi.

"It is a pity he failed to make it into the final squad.

"The team's current tactics need more perimeter players, so we had to give up Wang.

"But he is still young and he will have a lot of opportunities to prove himself in the national team."

Zhang Zhaoxu, Zhou Peng, Zhu Fangyu, Wang Shipeng, Chen Jianghua, Yi Jianlian, Wang Zhizhi, Yi Li, Ding Jinhui, Sun Yue, Liu Wei and Guo Ailun.

FIBA
 

  
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