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The 2014 FIBA Asia A-Z - Part 2
L for… Li Meng
This player was marked as one for the future some four summers ago when she was named the MVP at the inaugural FIBA U17 World Championship for Women. And she certainly proved that early promise was not in vain with a performance that was steady and solid for China at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey.
M for… Tom Maher
The legendary Aussie coach is back with the Chinese women's team and how! In his second stint, after a very successful first one when he took the Chinese on a Semi-Final run at the 2008 Beijing Olympics, Maher took a rather young, inexperienced and - some may even call it - raw Chinese team to the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey. But when they returned to Beijing they had become the first team to finish in the top eight outside of Chinese soil. And the biggest credit for putting together an efficient combination did go to the coach - his animated tongue-lashings to the team during the breaks in the game being one of the highlights of the event itself.
N for…Gabe Norwood
Another Philippine poster moment as the Rain or Shine forward posted a poster dunk on the one-and-only Luis Scola that caused the most explosive uproar among fans in the entire 2014 FIBA Basketball World Cup in Spain. And the result: the video of Norwood's dunk on Scola only became an example for viral effect on the social media.
P for... Park Ji Su
Korea didn't send their best team to the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women in Turkey opting to keep their 'A' team back at home for the Incheon Asian Games, but they did field a player who might just go on to become the most influential Korean player ever. At 1.95m, Park Ji Su may not have been the tallest player in the fray, but at just 15-years of age, she certainly was the youngest in fray. And in the category of 'players for the future' she was miles ahead.
S & T for… Shao Ting
For the first time in my lists, we have a player who deserves two letters of the alphabet, and fortunately those two are coming back-to-back. And there are two solid reasons for this. Shao Ting became the most known player in China's impressive run at the FIBA World Championship for Women, from being the most unknown player in the China team before the start of the competition. Having never played for any Chinese national team across all age groups, Shao Ting championed the cause of Universaide basketball with a literally 'bolt out of the blue' performance at Turkey 2014.
Y for… Yang Liwei
China's women's teams needn't search hard for their future leader. They now have readily available in the pocket dynamo of a point guard in Yang Liwei. Coming into Turkey 2014 as only a standby playmaker for Chen Xiajia, she played well within herself with rare composure.
Z for… Zhou Qi
China's biggest hope is showing sure signs of belonging to the top league. First with a steady performance at the 5th FIBA Asia Cup in Wuhan, China, where the teenage sensation was one of the more experienced players. And more recently with a solid showing in the ongoing CBA for Xinjiang.
As has been the case the last three years, I have deliberately left out some letters. For I was not compelled nor under any obligation to find a player for each letter. Therefore, if a letter didn't find a player, I leave it to say it's the letter's loss. We'll wait another year to make up for this.
So long… And yes, Happy New Year!
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