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    After dismal Fiba-Asia showing, China withdraws bid for World Cup wildcard berth

    Feb 2, 2014
    Yi Jianlian and Co. will not be competing in the Fiba World Cup after the Chinese, ranked No. 12 in the world, withdrew their bid for a wildcard berth in Spain. Jerome Ascano

    CHINA withdrew its application for a wildcard berth in the Fiba World Cup in Spain at the last minute, leaving out the Asian powerhouse from the premier competition.

    China was among the three countries which withdrew from their bid to enter the World Cup via a wildcard entry. Dirk Nowitzki-led Germany and Italy also pulled out their respective bids.

    China actually withdrew at the last minute, according to Fiba secretary general Patrick Baumann during the announcement of the wildcard berths.

    “We had three withdrawals starting last Saturday by the Italian basketball federation, on Tuesday, the 28th, by the German federation, and later this week and confirmed this morning in writing by the Chinese association,” said Baumann.

    The Fiba Central Board has awarded the wildcard berths for the World Cup to Brazil, Italy, Finland, and Greece, completing the cast of the 24 teams that includes the Philippines.

    Baumann didn't divulge the reason for the withdrawal of the three teams.

    However, China was coming off a tough year which saw players grumble about the "tough training camp" ran by Greek coach Panagiotis Giannakis.

    The 2011 Asian champions were also a big letdown in the Manila tournament despite the presence of Yi Jianlian and Wang Zhizhi, losing to Korea in the prelims and to rival Chinese Taipei in the quarterfinals.

    In contrast, host country Philippines captured the silver medal in the Asian tilt after bowing to Iran in the finals but was enough to gain one of the three berths for the continent in the Fiba World Cup.

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    Yi Jianlian and Co. will not be competing in the Fiba World Cup after the Chinese, ranked No. 12 in the world, withdrew their bid for a wildcard berth in Spain. Jerome Ascano
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