US, China men's basketball teams to play in July

Updated: 2016-04-26 05:33

(China Daily USA)

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The US and Chinese men's basketball national teams will play two exhibition games in California in July as a warm-up before the 2016 Summer Olympics in Rio de Janeiro.

The US team, which will play five exhibitions this summer, will meet China at the Staples Center in Los Angeles on July 24 and on July 26 at the Oracle Arena in Oakland.

The United States and China have already qualified for the Summer Olympics. The Olympic field of 12 teams will be finalized in July. China secured its bid by winning the FIBA (Fédération Internationale de Basket-ball) Asia championship.

The 2016 Olympic Games men's basketball competition will take place between Aug 6-21. China will play the US in its first game in Rio.

"With only a short period of training available, our training and exhibition games are critical in helping us prepare for the challenges we will face in Rio in defending our gold medal," Jerry Colangelo, USA Basketball chairman and national team managing director, said in a statement Monday.

The US team is going for its third straight gold, having captured the top medal at the 2012 London Games and in Beijing in 2008.

"Building our team chemistry quickly is vital, and the 2016 USA Basketball Showcase will offer our players and coaches the opportunity to become familiar with each other, to develop chemistry and to gain critical international experience against a variety of differing styles," said Mike Krzyzewski, USA and Duke University head coach.

"We'll face some excellent and experienced international teams, which will be important in our preparations," he said. "Playing five exhibition games in the United States in front of home crowds will be memorable for our players and fans alike, and we look forward to representing the United States in the best manner we can."

Earlier this month, the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) announced that Gong Luming would remain as coach of China's national team.

Gong's status had been uncertain in February as some reports said that he could not reach a consensus with the association on his pay and bonus, according to the China News Service website. The CBA released the names of the 23-man squad on March 31, with assistant coach Li Nan taking over daily training. But now Gong has returned. "Our players are not in good form now," Gong told CCTV. "Without a head coach, they cannot fully concentrate on training."