CHINA coach Panagiotis Giannakis is confident about his team’s chances of retaining the Asian crown as the titleholders quietly advanced into the quarterfinals.
The defending champion China wrapped up the second round with an 88-66 win over Bahrain to take the No. 3 spot in Group F with a 3-2 win-loss record despite struggles that saw them lose to Korea and Iran in the first round.
Giannakis was glad the injury-riddled squad was able to secure a quarterfinal berth despite how they performed in the first two rounds.
“I’m happy that even though we didn’t play so well in games, we controlled the situation even with the big injuries,” said Giannakis, referring to the hamstring injury to Yi Jianlian that kept him out for four games.
“I’m glad that my team went through the difficult situation,” said Giannakis.
The Greek coach is now setting his sights on the tougher battle, and he believes the team can pull off its best games in the knockout playoffs beginning with a Friday night match against Chinese Taipei.
“We can play against anybody. We have to see many things in our preparation, our mind and body for the big games,” said Giannakis.
Giannakis appeared to have his eyes already set at the Philippines in the quarterfinal round of the tournament as the Greek coach was spotted in the crowd watching Gilas Pilipinas play Qatar in the second round on Wednesday night.
Giannakis admitted that he was already scouting for any eventuality.
“I have to be ready for anything,” said Giannakis. “This big tournament is too important. You have to be ready for any situation.”