Mon, 29 Nov 2021

ZHUJI, China, Oct. 17 (Xinhua) -- Ningbo Rockets fought a good fight on the team's Chinese Basketball Association (CBA) debut on Sunday, but still lost 105-92 to Shanxi Loongs.

Without talented center Zhou Qi, Xinjiang Flying Tigers was overwhelmed from the very beginning in the 108-69 loss to Zhejiang Lions.

Ningbo was officially announced the 20th team in CBA three months ago. The team, averaging only 22 years old, comprised of players from many different parts of China.

Shanxi is a much more experienced team. With veteran big men Ge Zhaobao and Yan Pengfei, the Loongs are expected to win an easy game.

However, Ningbo refused to surrender too early.

The CBA newcomers tied the first quarter 28-28 and only trailed by five points by the halftime whistle. They kept fighting in the second half until Shanxi dominated the final minutes and sealed the victory.

Ningbo shooting guard Li Borun finished with a team-best 26 points. Zhang Xu and Ma Zhenxiang added 18 and 17 points respectively.

Shanxi center Ge topped the game with 31 points. Power forward Yan contributed 25 points.

"We are here to learn," said Ningbo head coach Li Ke. "We tried our best and I believe we will keep moving ahead."

Playing on home court, Zhejiang Lions dashed to victory from the very first minute of the game against Xinjiang. Former Xinjiang center Zhou Qi decided to join the Australian basketball club South East Melbourne Phoenix for the NBL (National Basketball League) for the coming season, which made it difficult for Xinjiang to fight Lions in the painting area.

The Lions played with efficiency. Center Hu Jinqiu had 19 points and eight rebounds. Star guard Sun Minghui made 18 points and seven assists. Shooter Zhao Yanhao buried four three-pointers to add 16.

Another local team Zhejiang Golden Bulls also enjoyed a victory. 18-year-old center Yu Jiahao converted 11 of his 14 shooting attempts, grabbing 25 points and 12 rebounds to help his team beat the sharp-shooting Fujian Sturgeons 108-85.

In other games on Sunday, Shanghai Sharks breezed past Tianjin Pioneers 120-94, Beijing Ducks defeated Jiangsu Dragons 87-71, Liaoning Flying Leopards took down Guangzhou Loong Lions 107-89.

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