The China CBA season has ended with an excellent game of hoops as Xinjiang downed Guangdong 117-109 in an explosive contest of offensive plays. The victor handed Xinjiang Flying Tigers a fourth consecutive win to allow it to sweep the finals series 4-0.
This was a hugely important series for the Flying Tigers as it handed the franchise its first China CBA title and put to rest a hold the Guangdong Southern Tigers have had over the team for years. The finals history of these two clubs is a Basketball saga. They first met in the championship run during the 2008/2009 season and then contested the title for three consecutive years. Each time, Guangdong secured the crown.
The Flying Tigers have also lost to the Beijing Ducks in the finals in recent years. This 4-0 series sweep was the franchise putting those demons to rest and showing it can win a championship series. As for Guangdong, the dominant force in Chinese Basketball with 8 titles, is now without a league success in four seasons.
Xinjiang was leading 3-0 heading into this game, but the Southern Tigers had home advantage and the chance to get back into the series. The hosts and former champs started well, using a good first quarter to drain 27 points for a ten-point lead. Xinjiang found some momentum through a 13-2 run in the second quarter as Guangdong offered 8 turnovers. The visitors and champions-elect secured a 49-53 lead on the back of 36 second quarter points.
In the third act, Carlos Boozer took the reins for the Southern Tigers and secured 10 points to make it a single play game. However, Xinjiang went again with a 10-4 run to make it 75-87 through thirty minutes. With a double-digit lead to protect, the Tigers were in control. However, the hosts dropped 34 points in an all-or-nothing fourth quarter effort. Xinjiang held on and plundered 30 of its own points to cap a high-scoring win.
Darius Adams secured 37 points to pace the title winners, 17 of those points came in the game-changing second quarter.
“We knew that Guangdong would try their best. As an eight-time champion, they will not easily give up,” said Li Qiuping, Xinjiang’s head coach. “But we made full preparation for tonight’s match. Though we had a slow start and trailed by ten after the first quarter, we just try to catch up with our opponents point by point. We did great job, not only tonight, but also the series and the entire season. The championship is just the perfect reward for the team.”
“We played a tough series, especially after trailing 0-3 in the series,” said Guangdong’s coach Du Feng. “But we never gave up. We have younger players than our opponents, and the loss is the cost for them to grow up. Actually our plan before the season was just to make into the playoffs. I’m proud of what we achieved now.”