Follow FIBA on Facebook

to read

CHN - Gong back at the helm of China

BEIJING (FIBA Asia Championship) - China are in recovery mode, looking to the future with optimism after a difficult period that has seen them lose their status as Asia heavyweights.

Several months after their team's Quarter-Final upset at the hands of Chinese Taipei at the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship in the Philippines, the Chinese decided at the last hour to withdraw their bid for a wild card for the 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup.

Turkey, FinlandBrazil and Greece all received wild cards.

China have instead decided to regroup and concentrate on the 17th Asian Games in Incheon, Korea, and next year's FIBA Asia Championship, a tournament that will serve as a qualifying event for the 2016 Rio de Janeiro Games.

The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) have made a change at the helm, too, putting Gong Luming in charge for the second time in his career.

Veteran Gong has taken the reins from Greek Panagiotis Giannakis.

Gong led China's men before, guiding them to an eighth-place finish at the the 1996 Olympics.

He also coached China's women at the 2004 Olympics, where they came up short of the last eight after falling in an upset to New Zealand.

The coach of that Tall Ferns side, Tom Maher, then replaced Gong as the China women national team coach.

Gong has not coached a team for the past 10 years but instead been has an official in the CBA.

He once played the game himself.

Gong, a point guard, was in the China sides that competed at the 1988 Olympics in Seoul, Korea, and the 1990 FIBA World Championship in Argentina.