Source: China State Council Information Office
Jonathan Gibson’s shot in the last second helped Beijing get back to winning ways after a comeback 101-99 victory over Zhejiang Lions in the 11th round of the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league here on Tuesday.
Beijing has not won a game in November, beginning the match with a four-game losing streak. Zhejiang, on the other hand, has found form with three consecutive wins.
Beijing was 99-96 ahead with six seconds left in the seesawing fourth quarter. Sun Minghui, who had only six points in the second half until that moment, rose to the occasion to level the game 99-99 with a three-pointer and Zhejiang held hope of overtime with only 1.8 seconds remaining.
However, Gibson, who was rested for nearly the entire second half, was sent on for the last shot and he did not fail to deliver as he made a fade-away shot against Sun, left Zhejiang with a mere 0.1 second on the clock.
“Tonight we deserved the win,” said Beijing’s coach Simone Pianigiani, who praised the team’s fighting spirit after a sluggish start. “But I don’t watch for wins or losses, I watch for how my players are making progress.”
Fang Shuo led Beijing with 30 points and eight assists while Justin Hamilton scored 25. Sun, playing with a twisted ankle in the second half, scored a game-high 33 points, 13 assists but had nine turnovers. Hu Jinqiu contributed 28 points and Miroslav Radulica added 23 for Zhejiang.
Zhejiang made it look like a loop-sided game with a 16-2 opening and led the first quarter 35-23 with the on-fire Sun and Radulica contributing 12 points each. Beijing rallied back in the second quarter with a 12-0 run powered by guard Fang to make it a one-possession game, only to see Zhejiang immediately answer with a 16-2 spurt to regain its lead.
Carrying a 60-54 advantage into the second half, Zhejiang regained its double-digit lead following a 11-2 scoring run over a turnover-laden Beijing side. Beijing put up more tenacious defense, especially against Sun, and sank six 3-pointers in the third quarter, including Hamilton’s buzzer beater that helped the team level the game 81-81.
Eight turnovers by Zhejiang in the last quarter enabled Beijing to turn the tables, before Sun’s three set the stage for Gibson.
“This win is very important to us after losing our previous four games, especially in such a way. It not only helps us in a tactical sense but also greatly boosts our morale,” Fang noted.
The two will meet again in two days to wrap up their schedule in the first phase of the 2020-21 CBA season.