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Chinese team arrives in Turkey for basketball worlds
2010/08/27

ANKARA, Aug. 26 (Xinhua) -- Chinese national basketball team arrived in the Turkish capital Ankara on Thursday night for the upcoming 2010 FIBA Basketball World Championships.

The squad was heralded by Washington Wizards forward Yi Jianlian and former NBA player Wang Zhizhi, while half of the 12 members were awarded the first cap and seven of them will have their first world championships experiences.

Yi said players are in a good condition and hope they can reward the fans with good performances.

"The world championships are held once in four years. It's an important opportunity for us," he told Xinhua after arriving at the Ankara Esenboga Airport.

"The Chinese team will soon adjust themselves and do their best in every game," said Wang.

Houston Rockets center Yao Ming, who is still recovering from a foot surgery, was excluded from the team. Former national team top scorer Zhu Fangyu was also not included due to injury.

China will face the 2006 runners-up Greece in their opener on Saturday, and will take on Cote d'Ivoire, Puerto Rico, Russia, and Turkey in sequence according to the schedule of Group C.

A total of 24 teams, divided into four groups, are qualified for the championships, which will be held from Aug. 28 to Sept. 12 in four Turkish cities of Istanbul, Ankara, Izmir and Kayseri.

The winner will qualify automatically for the London 2012 Olympics.

 
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