Tracing CPC's Glorious Journey in Dongguan > Achievements
Guangdong beats Liaoning for historic 11th CBA championship
2021-05-05 08:45     Source : Xinhua

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Team members of Guangdong Southern Tigers celebrate during the awarding ceremony after the third game of the finals between Guangdong Southern Tigers and Liaoning Flying Leopards at the 2020-2021 season of the Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) league in Zhuji, east China's Zhejiang Province, May 1, 2021.

Already unparalleled in winning their 10th Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) title last season, Guangdong Southern Tigers repeated their triumph over Liaoning Flying Leopards and refreshed their own record after winning a historic 11th CBA championship.

Guangdong further built their dynasty by winning their third consecutive CBA championship after defeating Liaoning 110-103 in overtime here in Game 3 on Saturday. Hu Mingxuan was named FMVP.

"I would like to thank Guangdong for giving chances to young players like me. This is an award for the entire team. It is the power of our team that made me who I am," said the 23-year-old guard.

Coach Du Feng, who started his second coaching spell with Guangdong in the 2018-2019 season, attributed the success this time to "faith and hunger for championship."

"It's a tough journey," said the tearful 39-year-old. "We lost Marshon [Brooks] in the antepenultimate match of the regular season, which meant we had to change our system in a short time."

"I would like to thank my players that trust and support for me so that we can fight for the same goal together," he added.

The coach was generous with his compliment over veteran Zhou Peng, calling the 31-year-old the FVMP in his heart.

"He is the most important player in our squad. His critical block in our quarterfinal against Beijing saved our season. He is always here and there on the defensive end. His contribution is not reflected in numbers sometimes, but he never complaints about anything, and he helps young players grow all the way. I respect him the most."

Trailing for the majority of the time, Liaoning finally made it a one-possession game at 99-96 with 51.1 seconds left in regular time. Sonny Weems of Guangdong paced the attack but missed his shot and Guo Ailun raced to the basket and drew a foul from Hu. The Liaoning star missed his second free throw, but Zhang Zhenlin jumped for a tip-in to tie the match at 99-99. After Weems missed the final chance in 15 seconds, the game went to overtime.

Weems led Guangdong to open with an 8-0 scoring spree, thanks to second-chance opportunities after the Tigers grabbed offensive rebounds in three consecutive possessions. O.J. Mayo and Fu Hao scored four points from the line thereafter for Liaoning, but Hu kept Guangdong's advantage after making his two free throws.

Liaoning had the chance to close the gap again, but Zhang missed both shots from the line in the next possession, and Liaoning had no choice but resorting to foul tactics just 12.7 seconds from time. Hu remained solid on the free throw line to put Guangdong 110-103 ahead. After Zhao Jiwei missed the target beyond the arc, Guangdong players could finally celebrate their hard-fought championship win.

Weems chipped in 29 points, including 14 in the third quarter. The 34-year-old also had 10 rebounds and eight assists. Hu contributed 19 points and Zhao Rui and Zhou scored 15 apiece.

Guo had a double-double of 24 points and 13 assists. 23-year-old Fu contributed 24 points, followed by 16 points from Mayo.

"It's a difficult season for our players. We had chance to win the title, especially in Game 3, but we were not good enough compared with Guangdong," Liaoning coach Yang Ming said, trying to hold back his tears. "But we have given our all. From the coaching staff to the players, we fought till the last bullet."

Editor: 譚晶
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