After improving their record to 4-1 at home thanks to a closer-than-it-really-needed-to-be win against Shanxi, the Sharks are back on the road against Bayi Rockets, who most of you will recall bravely beating the shit out of a bunch of students from Georgetown University in the summer.
Shanghai are struggling on the road and won’t be pleased about going down to Ningbo to face a side that’s 5-1 at home, with their one defeat coming against the current CBA pace setters, the Beijing Ducks. The Rockets don’t have an overseas players (which conversely affects the amount of foreigners that can be used against Bayi) and without a superstar that can score 40+ points a game (the highest individual scorer in a game was Mo Ke, with 31 points), Bayi seem to have got reasonable contributions from the majority of their team.
The Sharks will have to be weary of a team that, as befitting their army legacy, play together than as a collection of individuals. Mo and Wang Zhizh are their most notable players but there isn’t a signposted big threat so it could be anyone’s night come Sunday. A perusal of what can be found about their recent games on the internet and Sina confirms that Bayi can get tough with grown men as well as American teenagers and like to mix it up with the best of them.
The absence of Tseng will be tough against a physical line-up and RFK’s calmness will be sorely missed if as expected he is out for a while. Feng Tian has been impressive in the last two games so the absence of Liu Wei isn’t as bad as it could have been but the collective loss of three starters doesn’t bode well under any circumstances. It should also be remembered that this is an away game involving Shanghai. As ever, the Sharks are up against it and with injuries and form, Shanghai will have to rely on contributions from its bench players in search of their first win on the road.