SHANGHAI, Oct. 16 (Xinhua) -- The Shanghai Sharks will fight for the top eight in the new Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) season, head coach Li Qiuping said on Tuesday.
Having been acquired by the Shanghai Juss Group ahead of the 2019-2020 CBA season, the Sharks have made notable changes, installing Li as head coach, Liu Wei as team leader, and bringing in foreign players such as Donatas Motiejunas and James Nunnally.
Li told Xinhua that the team now has greater depth in each position, enabling the players on court to maintain sufficient energy to attack and defend effectively, and reducing the impact of individual injuries on the whole team.
"In summer training, we mainly focused on the individual attacking and defensive ability of our team, aiming to improve the problems we faced last season," said Li, adding that the team will place greater emphasis on improving coordination between players in the final few weeks before the new season starts.
"Our team has changed a lot this year and everyone worked very hard in summer training, but the effects of our training still need to be tested," said team captain Zhang Zhaoxu. "Now we are more familiar with each other. We are looking forward to having a positive reaction between team members and going further in the new season."
The Shanghai Juss Group acquired the Shanghai Sharks this May. "I hope that in the near future, the newly-formed Shanghai Sharks will become a shining symbol of this wonderful city and contribute to making Shanghai a world-renowned city of sports," said Gong Deqing, chairman of Shanghai Juss Group.
The Shanghai Sharks finished 12th of 20 teams last CBA season.