Source: China State Council Information Office
Guangdong Southern Tigers avenged their earlier defeat to Zhejiang Golden Bulls with a 133-125 victory, and simultaneously snapped their 10-game winning streak in the 11th round of the 2020-21 Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league on Wednesday.
“Zhejiang is a tough team and they put a lot of pressure on us. We did not match their physical game in the first quarter and although we clinched the win, there’s still much to improve,” said Guangdong assistant coach Wang Shiwei.
In their previous encounter in the season opener, Zhejiang, who was the only remaining undefeated team in the league, stunned the defending champion 138-113 thanks to 39 points from star guard Wu Qian.
Wu scored seven to power Zhejiang to a 12-2 start, but was forced to the bench for the rest of the first quarter due to foul troubles. His teammate Sylven Landesberg carried the team forward with 10 points in the quarter, after which Zhejiang led 33-23 over Guangdong.
Wu returned to lead his team’s 11-0 spurt at the beginning of the second quarter, but the defending champion soon answered with a 11-3 run and sent Wu to the bench again. A more balanced Guangdong side took the chance to initiate another 8-0 scoring run to cut the deficit to four points at 47-51, and their aggressive play put Zhejiang under serious foul pressure. With 16 points coming from the free throw line, Guangdong trailed 63-64 before half time.
The two teams traded points in the second half and coach Du Feng was ejected following two consecutive technical fouls; a big blow to Guangdong. Each side had one of its starters fouled out before the game was tied at 120-120, after an array of swift transitions from both sides with three minutes to play. Guangdong made three baskets beyond the arc thereafter to lead 131-125, while Zhejiang’s shooters missed the target against Guangdong defense.
“It’s a difficult win. Although without our head coach, we fought until the last second, and I think this is the spirit of our team,” said Zhao Rui, who sank a crucial three in the final minute.
Marshon Brooks had a game-high 34 points for Guangdong while Sonny Weems added 22 points and six assists. Wu led Zhejiang with 33 points and five assists and Landesberg contributed 28.
“Both teams made excellent plays but Guangdong did better than us, especially in the final minutes. As the defending champion, they showed on court they are better than us in experience and technique; they taught us a lesson tonight,” said Zhejiang coach Liu Weiwei. “What’s important to me is not the result of this match but how we learn from them and improve in the matches to come.”
Zhejiang will play its last match in the first phase of the season against Fujian, the only team yet to win a single match.