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Guangdong power by Shando for CBA finals

2022-06-16 13:26

Tao Hanlin (R) of Shandong Heroes goes for a layup during the semifinal match between Shandong Heroes and Guangdong Southern Tigers at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east Chinas Zhejiang Province, April 22, 2021. (Xinhua/Sadat)

Guangdong Southern Tigers beat Shandong Heroes 118-112 in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) playoffs on Thursday to enter the finals for the third consecutive year.

Guangdong had a commanding 117-99 victory over Shandong on Tuesday to build a 1-0 lead in the best of three series, which means todays game is a go big or go home one for Shandong.

The fifth-ranked team in regular season kept the suspense until the last minute in Game 2, but a more balanced defending champion Guangdong proved itself better with Zhao Rui and Zhou Peng clinching the victory with layouts, after Gao Shiyan missed his that could tie the game for Shandong.

Its a pity that we lost the game, but I would like to thank my players for their persistence and fighting spirit for the entire season, said Shandong coach Gong Xiaobin. We are not yet a real strong team. We will seek to strengthen our squad by signing potent players and keep the team competitive.

Five Guangdong players scored double digits, led by 29 points from Zhao. Sonny Weems contributed 27 points and six assists.

Guangdong coach Du Feng was generous with compliments speaking of 25-year-old Zhao, who he referred to as a veteran at a young age that rose to the occasion when the team struggled without star forward Yi Jianlian.

Zhao gets better every season. He is an energetic guy and I always hope he can inject vigor into our whole team, and he lived up to the expectation. Today he was not only sharp offensively, but also spared no efforts on the defensive end, Du said.

Lester Hudson had 31 points and 13 assists in vain for Shandong. Tao Hanlin added 20 points and 13 rebounds. Gao, who challenged Guangdongs defense with his speed, scored 15 points, but missed all his seven three-pointer attempts.

Shandong broke away after a 12-all tie with a 14-0 run in the first quarter, thanks to nine points from Hudson, but found it hard to score when the 36-year-old was rested after this. Guangdong took the chance to catch up and carried on the momentum into the second quarter, where Zhao scored 10 to help Guangdong establish a 61-55 lead.

After the restart, Gao and Tao led Shandong to a 15-3 spurt that leveled the score at 70-all. The game was close until Guangdong took the advantage of Shandongs turnovers earlier in the fourth quarter to surge ahead 101-93 and resisted Shandongs comeback effort for their 16th CBA finals appearance.

Shandong was determined and efficient in the opening period. On the other hand, we were not mentally prepared, Du commented. But this is it, there wont be easy games in the playoffs.

Guangdong now awaits the winner between Liaoning Flying Leopards and Zhejiang Golden Bulls. Liaoning leads the other semifinal series 1-0.

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Guangdong power by Shandong for CBA finals

Guangdong Southern Tigers beat Shandong Heroes 118-112 in the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) playoffs on Thursday to enter the finals for the third consecutive year.