Having finished a three game run at home, the Sharks hit the road again, this time to Guangdong Province. The first of the two games will be against the Dongguan Leopards, who despite living in the shadow of their neighbours, the Guangdong Tigers, are still a very good team.
Part of the reason that Leopards are so tricky for other CBA teams is the tactical nous of their head coach Brian Goorjian. The Australian has helped slowly bring through their crop of talented young players whilst at the same time, find the right overseas players to fit in with the team’s ethos.
Of these Americans, Lester Hudson will probably be the most well-known, especially after his performances last season, where he averaged over thirty points a game and almost single handily led the Qingdao Eagles to a series of upsets over more prominent teams. The American is enjoying the same success this time around as well and the beefy shoot-first point guard is already putting up 32ppg.
Alongside him is Marcus Haislip (22.2ppg), a hugely experienced operator in Chinese basketball, who won the CBA title along with Hudson when the pair last played together with the Tigers in 2011. They will take the majority of the shots for the Leopards, although the overseas duo will be complimented by a solid roster of young Chinese players including Sun Tonglin and Li Muhao.
The Sharks will undoubtedly find this game difficult given the level of talent in the Dongguan team. Liu Wei did a fine job of shutting down Hudson when the two last met but whether or not the Sharks skipper can pull of the same tricky on the road remains to be seen. Tough game ahoy…