The Chinese Basketball Association (CBA), which made the surprising decision to appoint inexperienced Guo Shiqing as its men's basketball head coach in May, publicly apologized on its website yesterday for the team's disappointing performances.
The association also said Guo's future would be determined after a meeting today to review and examine the state of the program.
"We had poor performances in the Asian Championships and Stankovic Cup and achieved bad results," said the CBA statement. "We failed to live up to the fans' high expectations and we are sincerely sorry.
"We had to reshuffle after the Olympic Games and we did not have Yao Ming for the past two tournaments but we will not use that as an excuse. The CBA takes full responsibility and apologizes.
"We will hold a meeting to review the performances and discuss the future of our team on Wednesday."
Guo, 34, led the national team to a disappointing third-place finish at the FIBA Stankovic Basketball Continental Cup in Kunshan, Jiangsu, after losses to weakened teams from Australia and Turkey.
It's another major blow dealt to the young coach as, two weeks ago, China suffered one of their most humiliating losses in Asian Basketball Championships' history - a 70-52 final defeat at the hands of Iran in Tianjin.
"After today's meeting, I will tell you the CBA's decision on Guo's future," said Xin Lancheng, director of the Basketball Administrative Center.
Guo, a teammate of NBA all-star center Yao Ming just five years ago at the Athens Olympics, defeated some experienced and highly-favored local coaches to take over the team in May, making him the youngest national hoops coach in China basketball history.
But he was called "Mr No Idea" during the Asian Championships for his apparent lack of tactics.
But for some standout performances from New Jersey Nets power forward Yi Jianlian and former NBA player Wang Zhizhi, China could have lost in the semifinals against Lebanon.
The final disaster against Iran sparked calls to axe Guo but the sport's governing body gave him a chance to redeem himself at the Stankovic Cup.
However, that tournament merely added salt to the wound and Guo's fate seems sealed.
Assistant coach Brian Goorjian is touted by some media as the man most likely to take over the job.
The former Australia basketball coach brought his expertise to China after signing on as a consultant to the men's team in May. He agreed to work with the squad ahead of next year's World Championships and the 2012 Olympics.
But such speculation is questioned by some as the CBA - and other China sporting bodies - have been eyeing locals to take charge of national teams after the Beijing Olympics.
Source: China Daily