Is Neven Spahija the front runner head coach of the national team?

January 15, 2013

China National Team

Post by Jon Pastuszek 

January 15, 2013

China National Team

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Since last summer’s London Olympics, it has been all quiet on the National Team front and their search for a new head coach.

Until yesterday.

According to Sina Sports, the Chinese Basketball Association is meeting in Beijing with Croatian Heven Spahija, who reportedly flew into the country to discuss the national team job.

Neither the CBA nor Spahija had any comment on the meeting.

On Saturday, an article in the Beijing Times reported that the CBA the process to find the next head coach had already started and that the administration would have a clear idea about their candidates by March.

“At present, the list is very extensive,” said national team director of operations, Zhang Xiong. “There’s around 20 or so names and we hope to hire a foreign coach. The list is mostly made up of European and American names, but we’re more inclined to select a European coach.”

The 50-year old Spahija’s resume includes two years as head coach at Fenerbahce from 2010-12, a two year stint at Valencia from 2008-10 and one year at Maccabi Tel Aviv from 2006-07. Spahijia started his head coaching career at Croatian club KK Cibona in 2001.

China is preparing for the 2013 FIBA Asia Championship, which was originally to be hosted by Lebanon, but instead will take place in the Philippines due to security concerns. The tournament, which serves as the Asian qualifier for the 2014 World Cup (formerly known as the FIBA World Championship) will be held from August 1-11.

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