The Shanghai Sharks won yet again at home but had to do it the hard way after a disastrous third quarter undid the excellent work of a swashbuckling first half. The scoreline will tell you that the Sharks beat Qingdao Eagles 69-63 but the home side will be kicking themselves after letting the game get so close in the first place. Continue reading “Shanghai Sharks 66 – Qingdao Eagles 63”
One of the best parts about experiencing a Shanghai Sharks game in person are the intensity of the fans in the Yuanshen, most of whom belong to the Small Yellow Fish group. A fantastically passionate bunch, their voices and chants echo around the stadium regardless of the opposition or the score.
Speaking before the game against the Tianjin Lions, three fans, Li, Du and Yuan found the time to talk to Shark Fin Hoops about the CBA season so far.
The 6-10 Qingdao Eagles are next in line for a visit to the Yuanshen, and the Sharks, who have only lost once at home all season will be well aware that their guests have an awful 1-6 record when they leave their home stadium. Both teams are on a winning streak, but the three-in-a-row Sharks will regard themselves as the favourites against the 13th placed Eagles, who come into this game with recent wins against Shandong and Foshan.
That said, the Eagles will return to Shanghai still boasting the formidable Lester Hudson, currently averaging 34.2 ppg and 5.9 apg in the CBA. Hudson was the key to beating the Sharks last time around and he will need to be watched carefully in the latest engagement. The arrival of the much traveled center Olumide Oyedeji will also be cause for concern. The Nigerian, who has had previous spells with Beijing, Lioaning and Shanxi over a three year spell in the CBA is averaging 15 rebounds a game since he returned to China having previously been playing for Changwon LG Sakers in the Korea’s KBL. Qindao’s tricky forward, Li Gen can also cause mischief if not watched closely.
The Sharks will obviously need to be weary of Hudson, who has put up big scores against a number of teams this season, but as their record shows, Qingdao do not have a tremendous amount of back up for their American forward.If Hudson can be kept under control by a Shanghai defence that is the best in the league, the Sharks should be able to deal with the Eagles. That said, the Sharks squad, weakened by flu when they played Tianjin Lions, can expect a stronger test against Qingdao and will need to get start the game with momentum lest a Hudson-inspired offense takes control of another game that Shanghai need to win.
Infront of a sparse crowd, the Shanghai Sharks handled their business with a minimum of fuss and dispatched a bland Tianjin Lions via the hot hands of Ryan Forehan Kelly and Mike Harris. Just as crucially, the Sharks have now earned themselves an 8-8 record at the halfway point of the CBA season.
An flu-addled Shanghai team squad took a while to get going and when they did, it was predictably through the shooting of Forehan Kelly, who made a breezy 10 points by the end of a first quarter that Shanghai narrowly edged 18-17.
An increasingly confident Sharks team began to pull ahead once the second quarter was underway. Meng Lingyuan, Liu Wei and Tseng Wen-ting all had time to drop hefty three pointers and by halftime, Tianjin were already starting to look lost and went in at the break down, 47-38.
Save for Darnell Harvey and Zhang Nan, the Lions lacked any real offensive firepower and the deficit quickly began to drift into double figures after the interval. With the Lions now backed into a corner, Harris reveled in his role as Tianjin’s chief tormentor, scoring freely and opening up space for his team mates to join in the fun as well.
The final quarter quickly became garbage time as Coach Panaggio gave his bench guys the chance to play some minutes. However, Harris and Forehan Kelly remained on the court as insurance and the two Americans continued to dine on the lethargy of the away side, and both men calmly eased their way into 20-point hauls.
When the final buzzer arrived to spare Tianjin any more punishment, the scoreboard was stuck at 93-81. Despite winning their last three games, it was exactly what the Lions deserved after such a lifeless performance. Harris picked up 27 points and 11 rebounds whilst RFK made 24 in a game that Panaggio described as ‘a necessary win’.
Qingdao Eagles will now be the next team to visit the Yuanshen. The Sharks, now 6-1 at home, will be looking for revenge against their guests after an embarrassing away defeat back in October. Going 9-8 on Friday night would be a remarkable way to finish off 2011.
Picture: Sina Sport
The city of Shanghai got exactly what it wanted this Christmas as it’s basketball team defeated the Beijing Ducks in a gritty, compelling match that saw both sides have their chances to win the game.
In further proof that supporting the Shanghai Sharks is bad for your health, the boys from the Yuanshen held on against a frenzied late fight back from the Jiangsu Dragons to record their second away win of the season but more impressively, have now won four out of their last five games. Coach Panaggio will be pleased with how his side kept its cool amidst the ebb and flow of gritty defense and instant fast breaks to ultimately dismantle an underperforming but still dangerous Dragons side. Continue reading “Jiangsu Dragons 96 – Shanghai Sharks 98”
The Sharks finally won a game on the road despite the continued absences of Liu Wei and Tseng Wen-ting. Ryan Forehan-Kelly, who was also expected to be out injured, was passed fit and Shanghai needed him to steady the nerves of his younger team mates and combine with a swaggering Mike Harris to lead the Sharks to victory against a suitably villainous Bayi Rockets team. Continue reading “Bayi Rockets 85 – Shanghai Sharks 94”
Shanghai are now at 0-6 on the road after a typically battling, hardworking performance that saw the obligatory top drawer performances from Ryan Forehan-Kelly and Mike Harris but the Sharks couldn’t cope with the strength and guile of former Shark, Zaid Abbas. The Jordanian didn’t put on a huge score but galvanised his team with an eye-catching performance that kept a passionate home crowd on their feet.
Fujian went ahead in a big way as early as five minutes into the first quarter when Abbas starting weaving his way past his marker for lay ups or dishing it out for his team mates to score themselves. The end result was a ten point lead that the Sharks somehow immediately erased thanks to the hard work of RFK, and Shanghai instead found themselves up 22-21.
The second quarter belonged to Fujian and this time there was no Sharks comeback. Abbas was merciless when he got close to the rim and when the ball wasn’t in his hands, Lo Yi Ting and Gong Songlin had the accuracy from downtown to make the Sharks pay. A buzzer beater, inevitably a three-pointer, from Zhao Tailong sent Fujian in at the halftime break, 52-45.
Fujian continued to pound the Sharks after the break and this time, towering centre Will McDonald was up to no good, rebounding hard and making his chances when he could. With Harris and RFK working in tandem along with Meng Lingyuan, the Sharks were never out of it but the Sturgeons remained in front 74-66.
Come the final quarter, Harris achieved the remarkable feat of silencing the vocal home crowd after the Sharks had spent most of it slowly eat up the scoring deficit. The former Houston Rocket’s effort from way out now made it 89-87 with four minutes left and set up a frantic spell of complete chaos.
To sum it all up, Fujian made it 95-90 after McDonald fired home and RFK replied with a three. Wu Yang made one of his two free-throws to make it 94-91 only for Lo to bring the clock down to fourteen seconds before missing his shot from a distance. Harris then failed to make his own three pointer in the face of his marker and it looked like it was game over for the Sharks.
A heavy foul by Harris after the restart meant that the Sturgeons had two free-throws at the other end. Zhou converted one to make it 95-91 only for RFK to get two free-throws (I couldn’t see what happened due to the implausibly bad camera work from the game) which he duly made, and the score was now 95-93 with the ball still with the Sharks for a restart in the Sturgeons’ half of the court. With a millisecond or two left, Harris hoisted the ball high and wide to confirm the inevitable. Shanghai came mighty close to pull off an epic comeback but failed in the last moment.
RFK finished on 31 points whilst Harris made 18 and Meng got himself 15 points. Another valiant defeat for a side that have sacks full of fighting spirit but no luck. The return of Bob Donewald beckons on Wednesday and he’s bringing with him Kenyon Martin and the Xinjiang Tigers. Another frustrating defeat on the road was not the best preparation for such a reunion and Coach Panaggio will be no doubt telling his side as much as they fly back to Shanghai .
With the 2011-2012 CBA season only days/weeks/months away from starting (this is of course China so no-one is sure whether the league will be starting in November or December, or ever. It is also entirely possible that all the games will be played in a badly lit car park in Harbin), CBA teams are playing their final preseason matches in anticipation of the opening round of games.
Having built up their match fitness with a month of punching out American students and Melbourne-based basketball teams, several CBA sides are currently playing in friendly games based in Zhuji, Jincheng, Huizhou, Shenzhen and Guandong. As these places are helpfully away from either Beijing or Shanghai (or seemingly anywhere that most rational people would want to live), accurate match reports are hard to come across. However, thanks to the powers of the internet and thankless, often faceless Chinese bloggers, scores are trickling out and as such, Shark Fin Hoops is proud to bring you the following invariably biased match report that has been put together via translated sources (if only to demonstrate the absurdity of Chinese basketball, there isn’t even a match game report on the Sharks’ own website).