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Guangdong Close to Eighth CBA Title

(CRI Online)

10:26, March 28, 2013

Yi Jianlian of Guangdong (No.9) dunks against Shandong during their third game of the CBA finals on March 27, 2013 in Guangdong. (Photo/China Daily)

Guangdong Hongyuan proved a favorite team for this season's Chinese Basketball Association league (CBA) champions.

The Chinese basketball powerhouse routed Shandong Gold 97-83 at home to snatch the championship point in the best-of-seven Finals series for their eighth title in CBA's 18-year history on Wednesday.

Zhu Fangyu grabbed the spotlight with 23 points, reaching the 9300-point milestone. Wang Shipeng and Zhou Peng contributed apiece 18 points. Former NBA forward Yi Jianlian had a double-double of 13 points and 10 rebounds.

"I had much confidence in myself. When I was left in the open position, I made it with no hesitation. Moreover, teammates had faith in me as they passed me the ball many times," Zhu said.

Zhu believed that Guangdong's hope for the champions almost reached, but refused to claim that they already "booked" it now.

"We will go to Shandong's home court in the next game, and I think the opponents won't make it quite easy for us to lift the title there. Hopefully it'll be a good result."

Since guard Sui Ran sprained his ankle in training, Shandong's coach Gong Xiaobin started Pooh Jeter in place of Sui, and Jackson Vroman was replaced by Wu Ke.

Compared with last two games, both teams sped up in offense. Dingyan Yuhang opened the game with a 3-pointer for Shandong as they ran to a 14-6 lead thanks to Jeter's three-point play and Li Jingyu's jumper behind the arc.

Then the hosts began to gear up the momentum and cut the deficit to four points in the first period.

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