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Shao Ting: "We can do a lot better"
ISTANBUL (FIBA World Championship for Women) - Shao Ting epitomized how good China may become in the years to come.
In seven games at 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, the 24-year-old, who made her national team debut in the tournament, displayed resilience, tenacity, and more importantly she became a more confident player.
When China needed her most, she stepped up to ignite the East Asians in key moments like the day they rallied from a 13-point deficit in the fourth quarter to beat Belarus 72-67, a triumph that sealed their first Quarter-Finals appearance since 2002.
In that game - arguably her best showing in the World Championship - Shao Ting finished with a game-high 23 points.
The 1.84m small forward, who plays Beijing Great Wall in China's WCBA, gained admiration from coaches, opponents and fans, as her team-high 12.3 points per game spoke for themselves.
A win over Canada in the 5th to 6th place-game would have given China their second best result since they finished runners-up of the 1994 edition of the World Championship, instead they were unable to stop a very good Canadian team.
"This is my first world championship and as a team we did our best," Shao Ting told reporters after leading China with 12 points and seven rebounds in the 61-53 defeat to Canada.
When asked to talk about the gains of participating in the tournament and comment on the future of China's national team, again, she confirmed her confident mindset.
Spain denied China a place in the semifinal, but the Southern European team's head coach Lucas Mondelo reminded everyone that they needed to play smart basketball in order to overcome a team of the "level of Spain."
China's head coach Tom Maher preferred to adopt a a humble speech: "Our target is to be the best we can be and see what happens."