Li Gen To Play For Shanghai In National Games

The CBA might be done for a while but it doesn’t mean that basketball in China stops completely until September when teams start bringing in overseas players for the upcoming season and also embarking on preseason tours. Obviously there is the largely irrelevant spectacle of the National Basketball League, which is basically a poorly run summer league involving teams from backwater third-tier cities, but this year there will also be the National Games in which every province in China competes to be the best basketball region in the country. Continue reading “Li Gen To Play For Shanghai In National Games”

Shark Fin Hoops Comment: On CBA Refereeing And Other Madness

This piece started off in the article reporting the fine for Shanghai after the crowd trouble against Dongguan but rather than flood a news piece with my opinions, I decided it was better to break it into a comment piece. This way, the actual Shanghai incident can be explained in a broader picture but also, the refereeing situation/crisis going on in Chinese basketball right now can be better explored. Continue reading “Shark Fin Hoops Comment: On CBA Refereeing And Other Madness”

Qingdao Eagles 103 – Shanghai Sharks 91: Eagles Go Wild In Second Half Demolition Job

The Shanghai Sharks crumbled on the road in embarrassing circumstances against a one-dimensional Qingdao team that were already missing their best player- Tracy McGrady- through suspension. In a half empty stadium in Shandong province, the Sharks took a double-digit lead only to lose it after the interval following an outbreak of Hollywood shooting from two Qingdao wing players and a one-man assault from their American center. Continue reading “Qingdao Eagles 103 – Shanghai Sharks 91: Eagles Go Wild In Second Half Demolition Job”

Scouting Report: Xinjiang Tigers (3-1)

It’s that time of year again when the Sharks have to fly over to Uruqi and take on the perpetually cash flush Xinjiang Tigers, who once again have broken out the cheque book in pursuit of that illusive first CBA title. Gilbert Arenas is still out but the Shanghai will be going westwards in high spirits after their no-nonsense victory over Tracy McGrady and the Qingdao Eagles. Continue reading “Scouting Report: Xinjiang Tigers (3-1)”

Shanghai Sharks 93 – Qingdao Eagles 77: Liu Wei Too Hot To Handle As Sharks Rout Visitors

A game that was supposed to be all about Tracy McGrady was sensationally hijacked by Shanghai’s iconic captain Liu Wei, who helped his team ruthlessly dismantle the visiting Qingdao Eagles, who despite their star name, looked lifeless and bland from start to finish.

The presence of ‘Maidi’ meant the game was always going to be a sell-out and fans were streaming into the arena an hour before the tip-off so as to catch a glimpse of the most iconic teammate of Yao Ming’s time with Houston. Moreover, with Gilbert Arenas watching the game in street clothes on the bench and Yao doing the same from his private box, the Qingdao clash was probably one of Shanghai’s most star-laiden in recent history.

However, when it was time for actual basketball, the Sharks were strictly business and gleefully tore into a limited Qingdao side. It was obvious that besides McGrady, there was little to no talent in the players around him and Shanghai were quick to isolate the former Orlando and Houston forward and make the rest of the Eagles team try- and fail- to do the heavy lifting.

Indeed, while Li Guang was airballing wide open 3’s and Xue Yuyang was miscuing lay-ups, Shanghai were in inspired form and getting valuable contributions from several players, most notably Liu, who was rolling back the years with his no-look passes and mid-range shooting.

With DJ White focused on keeping McGrady smothered, the hard-working but decidedly no-thrills Tseng Wen-Ting was suddenly having his best game in Shanghai colors, and when Liu was off the court, the Taiwanese swingman was on hand to keep the scoreboard moving with everything from crafty lay-ups to deliciously taken fade-away jumpers.

The writing was on the wall early on and Qingdao must have known the game was up as early as the halftime interval. Outgunned, outmatched and outfought, the visitors had nothing to get them out of trouble. DJ Mbenga, the Eagles’ other overseas player was continuably terrible. He found himself withdrawn from the game towards the end of the third quarter having only scored 4 points, leaving McGrady to wearily plough ahead with no-one to help him.

With nothing to stop them, Shanghai calmly put the game out of reach via the one-two punch of Tseng and Liu and by the end of the game, the fans who had come for McGrady were being drowned out by those already celebrating the Sharks’ defiant win that several in the media had not predicted. Liu finished with 28 points, 15 rebounds and 5 assists whilst Tseng, in arguably his best game for the Sharks, scored 18 points.

A win for the home side breaks their three-game losing streak and helped make a point that the team was not reliant on Gilbert Arenas for success. There will absolutely be tougher games for Shanghai in this year’s CBA but few will be as definitive as their win against Qingdao.