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WNBA to host tough Chinese national team

Atlanta Dream Coco Miller (9) is surrounded by Washington Mystics players as she tries to grab a rebound during the third quarter of game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals at the Verizon Center in Washington on August 25, 2010. The Dream beat the Mystics 95-90. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn
Atlanta Dream Coco Miller (9) is surrounded by Washington Mystics players as she tries to grab a rebound during the third quarter of game 1 of the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals at the Verizon Center in Washington on August 25, 2010. The Dream beat the Mystics 95-90. UPI/Alexis C. Glenn | License Photo

HARTFORD, Conn., April 9 (UPI) -- Connecticut Sun Coach Mike Thibault says U.S. basketball fans will see an international powerhouse when the Chinese women's team barnstorms the United States.

The WNBA announced this week the Chinese national team will swing through the United States this spring for a series of exhibition games against four U.S. pro teams.

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Thibault, an assistant coach on the U.S. women's 2008 Olympic team, said in a written statement China is a rising force on the international scene.

"My experience in international play is that China has been highly competitive; they were really good at the most recent Olympics and have worked their way up in the world ranking," said Thibault. "They have players capable of playing in our league, so we'll be up against a good team."

China's state-run Xinhua news agency said Saturday the squad would face the Sun May 19 followed by scrimmages against the New York Liberty, Washington Mystics and Chicago Sky.

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