Foshan Long Lions 118 – Shanghai Sharks 112 (OT): Hosts Come Out On Top After All-Action Thriller

It could so easily had been a Sharks victory in regular time. If Gilbert Arenas had polished off the easy lay-up with the score at 100-99. If Arenas hadn’t then fouled Shavlik Randolph despite having no fouls to give and sent him to the free-throw line. If the Sharks hadn’t then allowed the homeside to claim an offense rebound and give themselves a one point lead. If Liu Ziqiu had nailed both of his subsequent trips to the charity strip. Shanghai had their chances, they just didn’t take them.

Indeed, Shanghai opened up an early lead against their hosts and by the first quarter, were ahead 26-19, having led by as many as 14 points. However, lead by Randolph, who currently leads the league in scoring  (32.9ppg), the Long Lions can roaring back and from that point onwards, the lead changed hands with heart wrenching regularity.

The game turned in a pulsating fourth quarter that started with Foshan having a slender lead amid some questionable home decisions. Arenas and DJ White were both vocal in their displeasure about some of the calls from the referees and those frustrations become greater when Zhang Zhaoxu fouled out after being called for an illegal screen as Liu Ziqui lined up a jump shot.

The Sharks still had their chance to win it a minute later but with only 0:22 on the clock, Arenas implausibly miscued his lay-up and then fouled Randolph to help give Foshan the lead in what was becoming an exhausting game from the line.  When Ren Junwei picked up his sixth foul a couple of seconds later, Liu Ziqiu then had the chance to win the game but had to settle for just one converted free-throw and the game went into overtime with the score at 102-102 despite a desperate three-point effort from Randolph.

Extra time was a tense affair and nether team scored for a combined six possessions until Randolph helped lead his team to the promised land with a gutsy trey only for Tseng Wen-ting to get it done from waaaaaaaay downtown with a three of his own off the glass. With the referees on their side, the Lions then made more visits to the free throw line before Doron Perkins struck the final blow with a tough lay-up after making an offensive rebound.

The star of the show was Randolph and the former Notre Dame forward scored 38 points along with 25 rebounds. DJ White put up another sterling performance by going 27 + 13 whilst Arenas had himself a 21/7/5 night with 4 steals.

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