Li also denied the rumors that China will limit the number of naturalized players in the national team. "Jiang Guangtai and Fei Nanduo did well in the CSL. They also expressed a strong desire to play for the national team. We hope to better know each other through training," he said.
Jiangsu seized control of the game from that moment. After Gong Li's three-pointer, they enlarged the gap to 30 points with 3:30 to play in the second quarter before going up 60-22 at halftime. The second half was routine work for Jiangsu as they sailed to a 47-point victory.
Figures might indicate that recovery for the struggling club could take longer than expected. But the former Augsburg manager came up with motivating words after the team's 19th consecutive game without a victory.
It is the second time for Ziyuan County to hold such an international race, the route of which covers several 4A-level scenic spots.
"I knew she was going to be aggressive. I knew that she's playing this way. Today it worked really well for her," Halep added. "At this level, nobody surprises anybody anymore because everyone has a big level and it depends on the day that you are."
Sichuan found its formidable game in the second quarter, responding with a 17-2 run and taking a 41-39 lead going into the second half.
"In terms of where we are competition-wise, the objective at the end of the day is to measure our standard to the South African standard and see if we can meet it. We are not oblivious though, we have included six of our foreign-based players. They will bring in more drive and experience to add to that of our local players," he concluded.
"I'm very happy. It was a great match, I didn't make any mistakes. Casper is a really great player, very attractive to play, I think there were many good rallies, it was a good match from both of us," said the recently-crowned US Open champion.
However, the six-time Ballon d'Or winner has not been able to win a major trophy at international level; a gold medal at the Beijing 2008 Olympics notwithstanding. The 2022 World Cup in Qatar might be his last chance to change that.
The Chinese Super League (CSL), which started the 2020 season behind closed doors in July, has been slowly opening up to a limited number of spectators last month.
The "BVB" controlled possession and should have added another goal to its lead before the break but Freiburg's goalkeeper Florian Muller was on guard to defuse the efforts from Thomas Meunier and Mats Hummels in the closing period of the first half.