Published: 10:39, June 14, 2024
Djordjevic steps down from China basketball head coach
By Xinhua
Head coach of China Aleksandar Djordjevic attends a press conference after the men's basketball semifinal at the Hangzhou Asian Games​ on Oct 4, 2023. (PHOTO / XINHUA)

BEIJING - The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) on Thursday terminated cooperation with Serbian coach Aleksandar Djordjevic and appointed Guo Shiqiang as acting head coach of China's men's basketball team.

Djordjevic replaced Du Feng in November 2022 and made his debut as China head coach during the sixth window of the 2023 FIBA Basketball World Cup Asian qualifiers in Hong Kong, China.

Although the Serbian led China into the FIBA World Cup, the team finished a disappointing 29th in Manila and failed to qualify for the Paris 2024 Olympic Games. Djordjevic's team faced another setback in Hangzhou when their plan to defend the Asian Games championship was thwarted by Filipino naturalized player Justin Brownlee's buzzer-beater in the semifinal.

China's consecutive failures in major competitions have garnered Djordjevic considerable doubt and criticism. Following the expiration of his contract with the CBA this summer, the CBA decided not to extend.

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In this undated file photo, Team China's new head coach Aleksandar Djordjevic instructs players during a training session. (GAO ERQIANG / CHINA DAILY)

"Based on the future reconstruction work and actual competition needs of the Chinese men's basketball team, the CBA has ended its current cooperation with Djordjevic and his crew," the CBA wrote in a statement.

Djordjevic bid farewell to Chinese basketball on social media, saying, "My sincere gratitude towards the Chinese Federation and to the beautiful people I've met and worked with. I wish all the best to the coaches, to Yao Ming and his crew, and of course to the team and the players. Go Team China - your Serbian brother will be supporting!"

The CBA also released the latest national team training camp roster, including young talents Zhao Weilun, Lin Wei, Zeng Fanbo, and Yang Hansen.

The complete list is as follows: Zhang Zhenlin, Cheng Shuaipeng, Yu Jiahao, Zhou Qi, Hu Mingxuan, Xu Jie, Du Runwang, Li Hongquan, Liu Lijia, Zhu Junlong, Zhu Mingzhen, Jiao Boqiao, He Xining, Wang Haoran, Liao Sanning, Chen Guohao, Zeng Fanbo, Yang Hansen, Zhao Jiayi, Duan Angjun, Lin Wei, Wang Lanqin, Gao Shiyan, Zou Yang, Cui Xiaolong, and Zhao Weilun.

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China will play more than 10 friendly matches this summer, including competing in the NBA Summer League from July 5 to 10 in Sacramento.