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Tag Archives: Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers

Is There a Second Chance at NBA Stardom for Yi Jianlian?

April 9, 2013

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A week has passed since the Guangdong Southern Tigers captured their eighth Chinese Basketball Association title with a 4-0 series win over the upstart Shandong Gold Lions to place themselves alongside the Bayi Rockets with the most titles in the CBA’s short history.

After a stunning loss to the Beijing Ducks in the 2011/12 CBA Finals, the Tigers made sure that their next trip would assure them of victory. And one of the reasons behind this season’s success was because of Yi Jianlian.

Following another unsuccessful stint in the National Basketball Association with the Dallas Mavericks, the former sixth overall pick in the 2007 NBA Draft made a return to the CBA and picked up where left off the last time he was in the league. After averaging 24.6 points and 10.5 rebounds over the season, it can be said that the seven-footer provided a great impact to his team’s pursuit in regaining the CBA crown.

With the season now over and respective provincial and regional teams preparing for the upcoming National Games in Liaoning province as well as the country’s various national teams gearing up for their summer schedules, one question that will consume many basketball enthusiasts’ minds in the coming months is whether Yi’s performance this season could secure him a contract with an NBA team next season.

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Shandong sweeps Beijing, will meet Guangdong in finals

March 18, 2013

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After captivating the basketball nation last season, a 2013 Finals rematch between  the Beijing Ducks and the Guangdong Southern Tigers was an eagerly anticipated and long-awaited event by both fans and, and possibly even the league itself.

Too bad for the Ducks, the Shandong Gold Lions never got the memo.

Marking yet another notch on their belt this season, the Gold Lions swept the Ducks out of the post-season on Friday night, defeating the defending champions 101-82 to punch their first ever ticket to the Chinese Basketball Association Finals. Zaid Abbas capped off a tremendous series with 33 points and 12 rebounds and Jackson Vroman continued his post-season offensive resurgence with 27 and 11, while Pooh Jeter chipped in with 16. Ding Yanyuhang finished as the team’s top Chinese scorer with 14.

They’ll play Guangdong, who also swept their opponent, the Xinjiang Flying Tigers.

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CBA playoffs set to start on February 27; Beijing to start title defense against Guangsha

February 18, 2013

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After 34 rounds, the Chinese Basketball Association has its eight playoff teams.

Defending champion, Beijing, who finished the season as the league’s third seed, will play sixth seeded Guangsha. Guangsha, who was locked in a late-season battle with DongGuan, Zhejiang and Shanxi for a post-season berth, jumped over everybody after beating Jiangsu at home last night 116-100.

At the top of the standings, Guangdong, who guaranteed themselves as the league’s top seed weeks ago, will play against Zhejiang. Despite losing on the road last night against Shanxi, who also finished the season with the same 16-16 record, Zhejiang clinched their spot after winning out on head-to-head point differential tiebreaker.

In other match-ups, second seed Shandong will play against DongGuan and fourth seed Xinjiang will play Liaoning.

The best-of-five first round, which implements 1-2-1-1 format with the lower seeded team hosting Game 1, will start on February 27. All games will start at 7:35pm.

The full first round schedule is as follows:

2/27 – Wednesday
Guangdong at Zhejiang
Shandong at DongGuan
Xinjiang at Liaoning
Beijing at Guangsha

3/1 – Friday
Zhejiang at Guangdong
DongGuan at Shandong
Liaoning at Xinjiang
Guangsha at Beijing

3/3 – Sunday
Zhejiang at Guangdong
DongGuan at Shandong
Liaoning at Xinjiang
Guangsha at Beijing

3/6 – Wednesday (if necessary)
Guangdong at Zhejiang
Shandong at DongGuan
Xinjiang at Liaoning
Beijing at Guangsha

3/8 – Friday (if necessary)
Zhejiang at Guangdong
DongGuan at Shandong
Liaoning at Xinjiang
Guangsha at Beijing

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Eyeing championship run, Guangdong replaces Terrence Williams with Donald Sloan

February 15, 2013

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Apparently not impressed enough with the best record in the league, the Guangdong Southern Tigers have made a big roster change on the eve of the post-season.

Former Texas A&M standout, Donald Sloan, has officially replaced Terrence Williams and has already joined up with his new team in DongGuan. Sloan, who started the season with the Cleveland Cavaliers, was waived in late December where he went to the D-League with the Sioux Falls Skyforce. After a brief stint there, he was signed to a 10-day contract with the New Orleans Hornets, which was not extended upon completion.

Sloan, whose registration is reportedly not yet completed, is questionable for tonight’s home game against Shandong.

Though this season has been full of surprises in Guangdong, the move to replace Williams was not one of them. According to sources, head coach Jonas Kazlauskas has been keen to make a switch since arriving as he has been preferable towards having a foreign guard as opposed to wing player. The 25-year old Sloan, who excels at getting to the basket and dishing out to teammates, should fit Kazlauskas’ bill nicely. With Yi Jianlian and Ike Diogu up front, as well as the sharp-shooting combo of Wang Shipeng and Zhu Fangyu on the perimeter, the Southern Tigers are likely to cause even more problems for opponents if they go to the Euro-styled spread sets that their Lithuanian coach favors.

In 29 games, Williams averaged 17.9 points and 4.1 assists.

Guangdong has two more games on its regular season schedule, Shandong at home tonight and Foshan again at home on Sunday.

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Beijing to play in Wukesong for entirety of post-season

February 8, 2013

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Good news for Beijing, bad news for everyone else: The Ducks will be defending their championship in the same place they won it last year, the 18,000 seat MasterCard Center (formerly knows as Wukesong Arena). And this time, they’ll be playing every home game there.

The move was officially approved last week by the Beijing City Sports Bureau.

Last season, the Ducks, capitalizing off of the unprecedented attention and popularity from a cinderella-esque run to the CBA Finals, successfully moved their home court from the smaller and comparatively drab Shougang Gymnasium to the NBA-quality Wukesong Arena, which served as the main basketball stadium for the 2008 Beijing Olympics.

Coming into the final series as heavy underdogs against four-time defending champ, the Guangdong Southern Tigers, the Ducks shocked the nation by handily defeating their opponents in five games, going undefeated at home while playing in front of sold out crowds.The Ducks’ intensified home court advantage served as a major reason why the team was able to upset their opponents, and the three games were the largest crowd ever for a CBA game

The Ducks attempted to move the regular season home opener to the arena, but were eventually blocked due to an Elton John concert.

With every home game to be played there in the post-season, the Ducks now have what is without a doubt the best home court advantage in the league, assuming of course fans flock to the stadium like they did last season. And now that the Ducks seem to have found their groove after beating first-place Guangdong last Sunday, talks of a repeat are now squarely back on the table.

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Dominant Guangdong running away from the competition

February 1, 2013

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Parity. It’s something that is said to be increasing inside the Chinese Basketball Association, from third Asian imports (Zaid Abbas) leading previous bottom-dwellers to the playoffs to rules granting specific teams special privileges (need we single out Bayi?). And though it is apparent that the struggle to make the playoffs will be one of the fiercest in recent memory, it is just as clear that there is one frontrunner for the title this year.

The Guangdong Southern Tigers are running roughshod over the league, and it isn’t even close.

Every statistic comes just as impressive as the next for Guangdong. What’s more frightening: a 14 game winning streak or the fact that they have lost just four times all year? Taking into account that their average margin of victory during this win streak has been nearly 14 points, Guangdong has made nightly blowouts nearly routine. They haven’t skipped a beat under Jonas Kazlauskas; on the contrary, the undefeated coach has arguably taken the team to the next level.

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Guangdong coach Li Chunjiang resigns, Jonas Kazlauskas joins staff

January 6, 2013

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Li Chunjiang and winning have gone hand-in-hand since he took over as the Guangdong Southern Tigers head coach in 2001. So it came as a shock today when team management announced that the seven-time champion coach is taking an indefinite leave away from basketball.

In his stead, longtime Southern Tigers forward, Du Feng, who has been on the bench as an assistant for both club and country the last two years, will be promoted to interim head coach. Former China National Team head coach, Lithuanian Jonas Kazlauskas, will return to China to join the team as an assistant coach/consultant.

Kazlauskas is in Guangdong with the club for their game tonight against Shanxi.

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“Huan Su Wei” causes to Su Wei to seek psychologist

December 3, 2012

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After having been jeered non-stop by opposing fans throughout the pre-season and regular season, Guangdong center Su Wei is seeking psychological help.

There are many lasting effects and memories from the Beijing Ducks’ run to their first ever Chinese Basketball Association championship last season. Yet in the carryover from 2012 to the quickly approaching 2013, it has been three words that have perhaps had the biggest impact in current Chinese fan culture:

“Huan Su Wei.” Substitute Su Wei.

It’s also had an impact on Su Wei himself, who is apparently so upset by being constantly serenaded by fans that he is now seeking the help of a psychologist.

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McGrady’s turnover, Gaines’ buzzer beater highlight CBA’s opening round

November 25, 2012

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The Chinese Basketball Association has officially started after Round 1 of the 2012-13 season wrapped up tonight.

And save for Gilbert Arenas’ untimely hip flexor last night, we don’t think it could have started any better.

There’s an overtime game in Shanxi to get to as well as Xinjiang’s impressive home win over Guangdong, but no doubt the game everyone wil be talking about will be Fujian’s dramatic buzzer beater to spoil Tracy McGrady’s debut with Qingdao.

Oh, and that turnover.

The script was set up for a storybook start to the season. T-Mac, who was excellent overall amassing 34 points, eight rebounds and nine assists, set up in an isolation with the game tied at 92 and the shot clock off. “The whole world is expecting McGrady to get the ball here,” the announcer said. And probably everyone watching was expecting that once he got the ball, he was going to send the Eagles home with a win.

But what happened instead, nobody could have predicted. Being pressured by his defender, Fujian’s Zhou Qixin, McGrady exposed the ball and got stripped before he could even get in range for a shot.

After a timeout to set up the last play, Fujian gave the ball to their American, Sundiata Gaines, whose first CBA debut finished in very simliar fashion to his first NBA game: A buzzer-beating three pointer to win the game. Video below.

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Gilbert Arenas officially signs in Shanghai

November 20, 2012

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Gilbert Arenas will be donning number 0 for the Shanghai Sharks this season. (Photo: Osports)

Even if he’s getting away from the United States, Gilbert Arenas will be getting back to a familiar nickname.

In what completes an almost month-long journey, Arenas has finally signed in the Chinese Basketball Association with the Shanghai Sharks. The deal is reported to be a one-year deal worth roughly US $700,000 with a mutual team/player option for a second year.

Already registered on the team’s roster, the three-time NBA All-Star will wear the number 0 for the first time since he was known as “Agent Zero” with the Washington Wizards from 2003-10.

Though the deal was expected to go through since he arrived in Shanghai at the beginning of the month, the Yao Ming-owned Sharks’ decision to delay making it official came down to two major points, a source told NiuBBall.com. First was that both team management and the coaching staff wanted to see Arenas in action before making a commitment, a request that Arenas interestingly enough turned down when he was in negotiations with another Chinese team, the Guangdong Southern Tigers, in October.

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Last minute CBA import tidbits

November 12, 2012

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According to a source, Ike Diogu may be on his way back to China, this time with Guangdong.

The clock is nearing zero on the countdown to the start of the CBA regular season, which means among other things, all of the loose ends regarding foreign player spots are being tied up. To help you lace up your shoes and get ready for some Chinese hoops, we’re getting you on your feet quicker with some nice tidy updates (in bullet form, of course).

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Wojnarowski: Negotiations between Arenas, Guangdong falling apart (UPDATE!)

October 31, 2012

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After reportedly reaching a basic agreement with the Guangdong Southern Tigers last week, Glibert Arenas’ move to China is now in serious doubt.

Hold that thought about Gilbert Arenas playing in China this season.

After reporting last week that Arenas and the Guangdong Southern Tigers were nearing an agreement over a contract this season, Yahoo! Sports’ Adrian Wojnarowski is now writing that negotiations are at an impasse.

Citing an anonymous source, Wojnarowski’s is reporting that whatever verbal agreements were made last week have essentially fallen apart as there are considerable differences over salary. Guangdong is also calling into question Arenas’ physical condition.

But, according to a NiuBBall.com source who confirmed Wojnarowski’s report, there’s another issue as well: Guangdong’s insistence that Arenas has an in-China try-out before any contract is made official. With question marks not only over Arenas’ health, but his ability to adapt to China life altogether, Guangdong management is remaining leery at handing over large amounts of guaranteed money without first knowing exactly what they’re paying for.

Up to this point, Arenas has been cool on flying out to China without a solid contract. According to Wojnarowski, Arenas was slated to arrive in China early this week, but with an agreement having yet to be finalized, he is still in the United States. As a result, Guangdong is currently looking for other players.

Today, Guangdong general manger, Liu Hongjiang, expressed frustration over the entire import-finding process: “Right now, it’s really hard to find foreign players,” said Liu in a story appearing in the Beijing News. “I think Chinese clubs don’t have any power to take the initiative in that respect. The second [the player side] opens their mouth, they want one million dollars or more. How can that much money be worth it [for the team]?”

UPDATE

In an interview with posted this afternoon by Sina Sports, Arenas was quoted saying he is preparing to come to China to play with Guangdong. The piece also states that he is willing to undergo a try-out with the team, although Arenas is not quoted as saying such during the actual interview.

Earlier today, on Gilbert Arenas’ recently opened Sina Weibo account, the former All-Star wrote: “Packed and ready to go to China! Can’t wait to meet my coaches and teammates and reunite with my buddy Yi for a Championship run.”

This afternoon, he directed a Weibo at Yi Jianlian, saying: “Hey buddy, I’m coming!”

Meanwhile, Guangdong’s other import is completely set as Derrick Caracter has recently officially been signed. Caracter, who was drafted with the 58th overall pick in 2010 by the Los Angeles Lakers, played 41 games with the Lakers in 2010-11. In December 2011, he tore his meniscus and was sent down to the NBA D-League after his recovery, where he spent the rest of the season after he was waived by the Lakers in February 2012.

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Gilbert Arenas near deal with Guangdong

October 24, 2012

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According to American reports, Gilbert Arenas is on the verge of signing a deal with the Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers.

While Mitt Romney and Barack Obama sparred on Monday over Sino-American trade policy, there’s one highly lucrative U.S. export market that is gaining momentum by the day: Former NBA All-Stars to the Chinese Basketball Association.

In a report first published by Yahoo! Sports, three-time NBA All-Star Gilbert Arenas is on the verge of signing a deal with the Guangdong Southern Tigers. He becomes the second high-profile NBA name to sign in the Middle Kingdom this season, joining the Qingdao Eagles-bound Tracy McGrady.

Today, Guangdong general manger, Liu Hongjiang, moved to cool down American reports, saying that a deal hasn’t been formally reached and that there are still several particulars which still need to be worked out with Arenas and his representatives  He said that a final decision likely won’t be reached until the league’s pre-season.

For people following the story, Arenas’ move to China shouldn’t come as a huge shock. According an ESPN.com report in September, Arenas had been seriously considering China after it became apparent that he was not going to be targeted by an NBA team this off-season. A NiuBBall.com source confirmed a separate ESPN.com report written yesterday that Arenas was in negotiations with the Yao Ming-owned Shanghai Sharks earlier in the off-season, but the deal ultimately was unable to get done due to differences over salary.

Last season for the Memphis Grizzlies, Arenas averaged 4.2 points in 17 appearances.

Arenas will join a revamped Guangdong roster that includes the return of Yi Jianlian, who played with the team both as a youth player and as a professional before eventually being drafted into the NBA in 2007. The sight of one another this season in China will be a familiar one: Arenas and Yi played together in 2010-11 season with the Washington Wizards.

The addition of Arenas — and his former teammate Yi — clearly illustrates the goal of the Guangdong club this year: Win a championship at all costs. Last year’s Finals loss to Beijing was viewed as a serious step back and a black mark on the team’s image and ownership has made it clear that they are committed to re-investing large amounts of money to make sure there is no repeat of that failure this season. With the addition of Arenas, a big and strong scorer in the backccourt who can match-up with Marbury, and Yi, an NBA-caliber seven footer who will be under no playing time restrictions due to his registration as a Chinese player, the logic is easy to follow from an on-paper roster perspective.

The CBA season is slated to open up in late November, although the official schedule has yet to be released.

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Yi Jianlian returns to CBA, to play with Guangdong this season

September 24, 2012

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For the second straight season, Yi Jianlian will return to the Guangdong Southern Tigers, where he won a CBA championship in 2002. (Photo: Osports)

Europe called, but the NBA didn’t — and for Yi Jianlian, that means for the second straight season, he’ll be playing in the Chinese Basketball Association.

According to Lu Yu, a member of Yi’s representative team, who spoke with NetEase yesterday, the 7-foot center will return to the team that raised him, the Guangdong Hongyuan Southern Tigers. According to the report, Yi has already flown back to Beijing from New York and will prepare to fly down to Guangdong to join his team.

This is the second consecutive season Yi has started the year with Guangdong. During the NBA lockout last year, he elected to sign a special contract with his old Chinese team that gave him an NBA out in the event that the work stoppage ended — a feature that Yi took advantage of when he was offered a one-year deal by the Dallas Mavericks.

In two games for the Southern Tigers last season, Yi averaged 23.5 points and 12.5 rebounds. After spending a re-adjustment period in the NBA D-League with the Texas Legends, Yi played 30 games for the Mavericks, averaging 2.6 points and 1.6 rebounds.

The decision to return to China comes in an off-season where the 2007 lottery pick’s future was the least career of his professional career. For the first time since entering the NBA, Yi was not extended a guaranteed contract by an NBA team. Yi did, however, receive heavy interest from major teams in Europe, including Real Madrid. But throughout the entirety of Yi’s off-season, he maintained that his goal was to return to the NBA.

Like last season, Yi’s contract will include a release clause that will allow him a free NBA return if the opportunity presents itself. Speaking to Sina Sports, Yi said he would play out the entire 2012-13 season for Guangdong.

The impact of China’s best domestic player returning to the league will be felt league-wide. In addition to adding top-level international player in Yi, the Southern Tigers will be able to combine him with their two American imports, whom at present have not been officially announced. And since Yi will be registered as a Chinese player, he will be under no playing time restrictions.

The Southern Tigers’ four-year championship streak was snapped last season by the Beijing Shougang Ducks.

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Beijing signs 2011-12 CBA Chinese scoring champ, Li Gen

August 19, 2012

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Beijing Ducks fans will be hoping Li Gen’s career season last year in Qingdao will carry over to the capital city in 2012-13. (Photo: CFP.cn)

Beijing’s boosted their chances for a successful title defense by officially signing one of the most explosive scorers in China, Li Gen. According to reports, the contract, originally said to be worth close to CNY 2 million per season, is over three years. Beijing general manger, Yuan Chao, denied that the deal was worth that much.

Last year for Qingdao, Li averaged 18 points a game to lead all Chinese players in scoring. He scored a career high 41 points in a win against Beijing on February 5th. He also won the CBA All-Star Game MVP, scoring 31 points to lead the North All-Stars over the South in Guangzhou.

The 24 year-old was a free-agent after spending the last two seasons on the coast of Shandong province. He made his senior level CBA in 2008-09, where he averaged 9.5 points over 23.5 minutes a game for last-placed Shanghai. The next season, however, he saw a sharp drop in playing time and production as then newly arrived head coach, Bob Donewald Jr. felt his defense needed vast improving. Li was ultimately shipped to Qingdao in 2010-11.

For Beijing, the signing speaks volumes about both their short and long-term ambitions. In the immediate future, the burly 6-5 guard/forward gives them an added scoring punch and a player who can create offense for himself. With Stephon Marbury getting up there in age, Li’s ability to get his own shot will take some of the pressure off of the American point guard to do pretty much everything on the perimeter. Li will also allow Chen Lei, who has also battled age and injuries in recent years, to take a step back in minutes.

Long-term, Beijing now has a very promising trio of young Chinese players to build around. 19 year-old Zhai Xiaochuan and 22 year-old Zhu Yanxi were both critical elements to Beijing’s title run last year as rookies, and both look to have long careers as top-level domestic players with the team. Teamed with Li, the three immediately become one of the best group of young, senior level teammates in the league.

It’s impossible to know where Guangdong fits into the CBA title picture as their import situation is still up in the air, but with Li coming on board to join Marbury and Randolph Morris, both of whom have re-signed for next year, as well as Zhai, Zhu, Chen and Lee Hsueh-lin, Beijing — at least for now — looks as the favorite to repeat as champions.

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