Shandong's coach tells players to be cautious
Updated: 2013-03-14 21:50
By Sun Xiaochen in Jinan, Shandong province (chinadaily.com.cn)
Shandong's head coach, Gong Xiaobin, has warned his players to not feel overconfident despite being only a step away from the club's first CBA Finals berth.
With a 2-0 lead over the Beijing Ducks in the best-of-five semi series, Shandong hopes to close out the series on Friday when it battles Beijing in a second straight home game.
Still, the job has not been done yet and the defending champion remains a dangerous team, said Gong.
"They won't give up the title easily," Gong said on Thursday. "We should keep our composure and focus like we did in the first two games."
"I've noticed that some young players are carrying some burdens. They wanted it (to sweep Beijing at home) too much, so they were a little bit impatient in the attack and too tight in defense in the last game," Gong added.
"The mentality of the players will play a bigger role now than strategy or technique. We should prepare for a much more difficult battle tomorrow and forget about the lead," said the former national forward.
Shandong's Asian import, Zaid Abbas, was one player whose performance was below par, in Gong's eyes, on Wednesday.
The Jordan international finished with 9 points and 16 rebounds, a sharp decline from his impressive 30 points and 19 rebounds in Game 1 in Beijing.
"He was just too excited after the first game and too optimistic about the advantage of playing at home. He's a veteran and I believe he will be more prepared next game," Gong said.
Shandong overcame a fourth-quarter comeback from Beijing to defeat the Ducks 94-92 on Wednesday and will play Game 3 at the Shandong Sports Center on Friday.
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