what better place, time

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Senior Member
Dear all,

The teacher said to her student, "What better time than now? I know you can do it." when asked about the right time to start studying for university entrance exams.

I made up the sentence using the common phrase "what better ... than ...?". The teacher gave her reluctant student a pep talk.
I would like to know the construction of "what better time than now?".
Is it contracted from "what is a better time than now?" or "what better time is there than now?"?

I would appreciate any comments.
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