BEIJING, China (2012 London Olympics): There was this moment during the gold medal game between Jordan and China at the last year’s 26th FIBA Asia Championship at Wuhan when the game was poised on knife edge, when Yi Li broke into a solo run and capped it with a sparkling slam dunk, that virtually titled the scales in China’s favor.
China went on to pip Jordan at the post, win the gold medal and thus qualified for the 2012 London Olympics.
Now, as Bob Donewald’s team prepare for the world sport’s most hallowed turf, Yi Li is keeping his fingers crossed of making the cut.
“I hope to make the cut,” the 27-year-old Jiangsu Dragons swingman said.
“I think how I play in the four-nation will count a lot,” he added.
China are scheduled to play a four-nation involving Serbia, Croatia and Montenegro starting on Friday.
“I hope the coaching staff finds my presence and performance useful for the team’s goals,” Yi Li said.
Donewald is expected to use the four-nation tournament followed by the Stankovic Continental Cup as the final indices to choose his team for 2012 London Olympics.
There have been talks about Yi Li being a little on the thinner side and lacking in physical strength to take on the opposition in the Olympics.
“I am counting on my speed and flexibility to answer those doubts,” was Yi Li’s reaction to such talks.
Talking about the preparation of the team, Yi Li said: “We are getting better every day. We are getting more familiar with each other and responding to each other a lot better.”
China drawn with Australia, Brazil, Great Britain, Spain, and a qualifier coming through the FIBA Olympic Qualifying Tournament in Group B of the Prelim Round competition at the 2012 London Olympics
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