29 August, 2015
05 September
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Not making enough plays as a team has Maher's China in a spot of bother

WUHAN (2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship) – Hosts China dropped their first game in the 2015 FIBA Asia Women's Championship, losing to defending champions, Japan and coach Tom Maher was straight to the point in analyzing the lapses in his team's performance.

"We are making too many individual plays," the play caller, who helmed China to the runners-up position at the 2013 FIBA Asia Women's Championship said.

"We are not able to make plays as a team," Maher said.

The Aussie coach, who last year steered China to a sixth-place finish at the 2014 FIBA World Championship for Women, pondered if the inexperience of the team was a factor.

"We are a young team. And we don’t have enough leaders. Leadership in a team is built over a period of time," he said.

"There is no leader who can steer the team under pressure situation," he went on.

"At Turkey (2014 FIBA World Championship for Women), we didn’t have any pressure at all. Not many people expected us to win.

"But here we are under tremendous pressure. Everybody expects us to win. That (pressure) doesn't help at all."

Maher picked out Shao Ting, who is emerging as one of the leadership prospects, as an example for the players' attitude to work hard.

"Shao is a very competitive player. If you call her for practice in the morning, she competes. If you call her for practice in the evening, she competes. If we are travelling, she competes," he said.

Maher was not too despondent after the defeat.

"I hope we play them (Japan) again. And I hope we'll play better. But if we don't start well, it's very tough to get things going.

"But if we play well as a team we can do a lot better," he added.