BEIJING, June 14 (Xinhua) -- China's national basketball team announced that Zhou Qi and Wang Shaojie will depart for the Philippines on Monday evening and join the team ahead of the upcoming 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers and Olympic qualifying tournaments.
The team revealed that Zhou, who had suffered a tear to the retina in his left eye, received laser surgery on Sunday morning and expressed his willingness to join the team immediately.
China also called up Wang to improve its strength inside the paint.
Zeng Fanbo has withdrawn from the roster and did not depart for the Philippines along with other team members, as organizers limit the number of participants due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
"The players' health is always the top priority. The team will keep touch with the doctors. The return of Zhou and Wang will boost the team's cohesion and strength," read an announcement from the Chinese team.
Other players for the upcoming qualifiers are Zhou Peng, Liu Chuanxing, Shen Zijie, Ren Junfei, Zhang Zhenlin, Zhu Mingzhen, Zhao Jiwei, Hu Mingxuan, Lu Wenbo, Zhao Yanhao, Wu Qian and Xu Jie.
As 12 players are allowed to participate in each tournament, the team will confirm its final roster prior to the tournaments.
China is in Group B of the 2021 FIBA Asia Cup qualifiers with Malaysia, Japan and Chinese Taipei. China will play Japan on June 16 and Chinese Taipei on June 17, before facing Japan again on June 19 and Chinese Taipei on June 20.
Following those matches, China will compete in the Olympic qualifying tournament in Victoria, Canada, taking on Canada on June 30 and Greece on July 1 in Group A.
Uruguay, the Czech Republic and Turkey are placed in Group B. Only one of the six teams will advance to the Tokyo Olympic Games through this competition.