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September 2, 2009

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China hoops coach Guo faces the ax

LESS than four months after becoming China's youngest national basketball team coach, Guo Shiqiang looks like being one of the shortest-lived occupants of the post as well after a series of disappointing results.

Chinese media have been near unanimous in calling for the head of the 34-year-old former teammate of Yao Ming after defeats to Australia and Turkey in the Stankovic Cup followed last month's embarrassing loss to Iran in the Asian championship final. Liaoning Daily suggested it was "Time for restructuring" while the Shenzhen News announced the start of the "Countdown to Guo's dismissal." China finished third without the injured Yao or NBA forward Yi Jianlian at the annual invitational four-team Stankovic Cup. It was considered the last chance for Guo to save his job and concluded in Kunshan, Jiangsu Province, on Monday. Australia beat Turkey 69-52 in the final with Angola finishing last. Guo was appointed in early May and will be hoping to at least surpass Wang Changyou's short reign in charge of the China team from October 1990 to February 1991.


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