After the last gasp defeat on Sunday night, Shanghai Sharks will face off again Rastafarian favourite, Shandong Kingston Golden Lions in Jinan.
The Lions, who saw through the hype of Gerald Green to put Foshan Dralions to the sword in their previous game, will be looking to improve on last season where they ultimately finished 14-18. Shandong’s overseas imports are both under-the-radar journeymen, Alan Anderson and the gloriously named Othello Hunter, but had enough about them to led their team to a decisive victory on the road. Hunter was particularly impressive, making twenty-one rebounds against the Lions.
From a Chinese perspective, Sun Jie and Sui Ran also played their part in the win at Foshan and Shandong’s stats from Sunday underline a team that have multiple outlets to keep the scoreboard ticking along.
The sides shared won a game each in their two meetings from the 2010-2011 season, with the two teams scoring over a hundred points each on both occasions. The Sharks will go into this game looking to exorcise the ghosts from Sunday’s loss but having relied so heavily on its more experienced players to get them back in that game, will need its younger players like Peng Fei to step up against a potentially versatile outfit.
Shanghai will go into this as a slight underdog but can’t afford to be too negative. There will be much more difficult roadtrips than Qingdao, Shandong and the forthcoming Foshan game and Coach Panaggio will be lighting fires under his players after an error-strewn loss to ensure that his players cut out the mistakes and step up with a moral boosting win. Its up for grabs but it all comes down to how the locker room has collected itself….