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Giannakis named coach of national basketball team

Panagiotis Giannakis Photo: Getty Images

Greek coach Panagiotis Giannakis (杨纳基斯) was appointed new head coach of the Chinese national basketball team, the Chinese Basketball Association announced on April 27.

The former Greek national team coach Giannakis, 54, will partner with Chinese assistant coaches Li Nan (李楠), Fan Bin (范斌) and Du Feng (杜锋) to gear up for the 2016 Olympic Games in Brazil.

Former Chinese national team coach Bob Donewald said China selected an excellent coach.

"He is an established coach with a lot of experience and character. Of course I know who he is and I'm respectful of him," he said.

Giannakis, known for his emphasis on defense and discipline, was chosen as one of the 50 Greatest Euroleague Contributors over the last half-century by the Euroleague Basketball Experts Committee in 2008.

He led the Greek team to a 5th place finish in 2004 Athens Olympic Games and win the European championship for the second time in its history in 2005. In 2006, he engineered Greece to a second place finish at the FIBA World Championship, defeating the star-studded US team 101-95 for the first time in the semi-final.

Under his coaching, Greece played China twice in 2006 world championships and in 2008 Beijing Olympic Games.

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